#1
Hoi,

I usually have lots of sounds, riffs and just lots of things going on in my mind. Sometimes I might make 10 riffs a day but then sometimes I just can't get anything that sounds good (at least to my ears, which require high quality stuff, lol).

And of late I've been going through the most annoying thing ever. When I've gone to sleep I suddenly start "making a riff" in my head and often they've sounded really good. A few nights ago I actually managed to create a full orchestra for a neat intro. But of course, I never remember it in the morning (and no, I will not start humming and recording at 11pm when everyone's sleeping).

Just curious, why are there days on which you can't squeeze out anything at all but then there are those days you come up with dozens of riffs? And in my case, why do I come up with riffs in the evenings while in bed (in other words, in places where I'm unable to record them)?

When you create something, do you think as if you were solving a math puzzle? Or do you have multiple sounds going on in your mind and you catch the ones you want? Or do you think at all?
#2
Just letting you know, as you get older these flashes of "inspiration" won't happen anymore, or happen much less often.
#3
As everyone has a phone with a recording device now, there's no excuse no to record your ideas. So record them.

Otherwise just force yourself to write. Waiting for inspiration to strike will just result in a lot of wasted time.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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#4
If you don't want to hum and record your ideas at 11pm, use Guitar Pro, MuseScore, Tux Guitar, Sibelius, whatever, to notate/tab your ideas.

Where does that creativity come from? People are creative in their dreams, maybe it has something to do with that (if you get a lot of ideas when you are about to fall asleep). I sometimes hear melodies in my dreams but rarely remember them when I wake up.


When I'm trying to do something creative, I need to get into the right mindset. And I can get into that mindset by starting to do things. It just takes some time. Today I finished an arrangement. When I first started working on it, I thought it sounded like crap (and it did) and it was going nowhere. But after a while I got a huge inspiration and it turned out really good (IMO). I'm really happy with it.

Sometimes I get into that mindset automatically. But many times I just need to start doing things. It doesn't only apply to music, it also applies to writing essays and that kind of stuff.
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

Gear

Bach Stradivarius 37G
Charvel So Cal
Fender Dimension Bass
Hartke HyDrive 210c
Ibanez BL70
Laney VC30
Tokai TB48
Yamaha FG720S-12
Yamaha P115
#5
in eastern disciplines the early morning hours are best to capture the creative elements in us..it is quiet and we can hear our inner voices much clearer..meditation is a good way to quiet the mind and hear our creative voice...I am often up at 4AM and developing my compositions with new material I have been practicing..

If music has become your life and not just a passing phase..your inner ear will become more developed and you will not be able to wait till dawn to explore it..those moments when "im not playing it" and "the music just flows through me" will become intimate friends at some point..and you will have to create an environ where you can visit with them at any given hour day or night..

marine..tip of the hat to you sir..your correct in the fact that this "energy" spills over into all aspects of our lives..and forever thankful it does indeed...
play well

wolf
Last edited by wolflen at Dec 13, 2015,
#6
I've come up with a lot of my best "foundations" for ideas when trying to go to bed, particularly when I'm not really physically ready to go to bed but I'm trying to anyway because I need to get up early for something and since I'm not tired my mind tends to wander. What I do is go ahead and get up, tab it out in guitar pro real quick, go back to bed, and then later I come back to it and flesh out the idea. If I don't then there's no way I'll ever remember it.

My problem has always been that I can come up with individual parts or sections of songs and be really happy with them, but then I don't know where to go next with it. I'll turn a simple riff or rhythmic idea into a fully fleshed out passage, and then maybe it naturally leads to something else, then I eventually get to a point where I feel like it needs a change, but I can't figure out what to do. I've got a folder on my computer with tons of basically complete sections of songs that I don't know what to do with. In the past I've tried gluing some of them together into a song, which kinda worked sometimes, but has a tendency to just sound incoherent and like "ok here's a riff, here's another riff, here's another riff, here's that same riff in a different key, etc" and doesn't sound like a single piece of music. I've had a few songs that I've been happy with that actually sounded like one coherent thing, but it's been a while since I've done that and the ones that I made that I've been happy with took me a very long time to complete, working in spurts every now and then.


Anyway, this relates to your last question in that I think my trouble is that for the initial spark of an idea it's usually like I "hear" an interesting idea of a sound and then I kinda figure out the rest. I fill in and adjust the notes and rhythm as I see fit, then I might work through a bass line or another melody to go over it (depending on what the initial idea was) and then I might hear an idea for the drums and try to fill that out and just kinda work through the whole thing in a mixture of problem solving and trying to hear something in my head to go over it. The problem is that once I've done this I end up with one fully formed musical passage, but it's not a song. It's just one section, and then I can't find that spark of an idea needed to keep it going. I think I could churn out lots of great music that I'm happy with, but I have to have something to work off of and that's the hard part for me.
#7
4th...yep happens to many of us...we get flooded with ideas all at once and don't quite know how to organize them into "one space".. a song or composition..now most "songs" are structured progressions..perhaps in several sections..A B C etc..your going to have to simplify the structure..you may be "overlapping" several ideas all in one space as it were..narrow it down to just a couple of ideas at first..ones that you like and know work..polish that part of the work until it shines real good..see if just doing this discipline generates its own second part..if not..no harm..add your second part see if it melds with the first..without force..change some chords or a different sequence of them..even a key change may help..but don't give up..you created the first part..consider the second part.."A first part" again..its new different separate but very connected to the first..

keep at it..it comes with time and lots of patients..not all "songs" are 5 min wonders..most singer/songwriters spent years creating their first "album" James Taylor is a good example..simon & garfunkle another..

don't put pressure on yourself to "get it done" its not a race..

hope this helps
play well

wolf
#8
Quote by AlanHB
Otherwise just force yourself to write. Waiting for inspiration to strike will just result in a lot of wasted time.


This has been my experience with writing. Inspiration is nice, but it's only useful if you can actually do something about it at the time, and nearly as often as it comes, the music isn't quite as exciting when you actually get it worked out.

For me, real inspiration comes after I've decided to write something. The latest genre sample on my ReverbNation came from just deciding it was time to put more stuff online. I didn't even know what I wanted to do, but I played a little Fm arpeggio and suddenly the whole thing came to me (that F-Ab-C line is now in the horns as the upper part of a Dbmaj7).

The important thing to remember is that songcraft/composition is a skill in itself. Getting a really good idea is like getting a heap of bricks and lumber - only useful if you've got the tools and know how to put them together. When you make a point of writing music regardless of inspiration, you learn how to turn any idea into something decent. Since you'll be lucky if one in 10 ideas are worth a damn, it's a good idea to be prepared when the good one comes along.
Last edited by cdgraves at Dec 14, 2015,
#9
Quote by wolflen at #33729787
4th...yep happens to many of us...we get flooded with ideas all at once and don't quite know how to organize them into "one space".. a song or composition..now most "songs" are structured progressions..perhaps in several sections..A B C etc..your going to have to simplify the structure..you may be "overlapping" several ideas all in one space as it were..narrow it down to just a couple of ideas at first..ones that you like and know work..polish that part of the work until it shines real good..see if just doing this discipline generates its own second part..if not..no harm..add your second part see if it melds with the first..without force..change some chords or a different sequence of them..even a key change may help..but don't give up..you created the first part..consider the second part.."A first part" again..its new different separate but very connected to the first..

keep at it..it comes with time and lots of patients..not all "songs" are 5 min wonders..most singer/songwriters spent years creating their first "album" James Taylor is a good example..simon & garfunkle another..

don't put pressure on yourself to "get it done" its not a race..

hope this helps




Yesterday I took a section that I wrote like a year ago that's been bugging me ever since because I didn't know what to do next and wrote another section that I think actually flows very well. I basically used a simplified funkier version of the rhythm the bass was playing and added in guitar just playing one 3 note chord per bar, letting it ring out, and then added in a little 4 bar lead type section and used that to lead into the next section, which could be the first section again, or maybe another one.

I think you're right about simplifying the structure. I listen to a lot of prog and fusion type music which can tend to have complicated structures or seem to not have very little structure, which can be cool, but it's much harder to make things like that sound cohesive. I'm going to keep working on this and try to use more repetition and come up with a more normal abacbetc instead of constantly adding new material like I've done in the past.

I'm starting to think alan and cdgraves are right. Don't worry about inspiration so much, just start writing and it will work itself out.