My name is chusss A self taught guitarist from Egypt, Playing Instrumental rock mainly but been exploring other genres.
It could be some experience that you faced or someone that you met. Regardless of the source of your new idea, you got inspired somehow and you found yourself motivated and ready to move forward and develop your idea to something nice.
The problem is that you can't always wait till you get inspired this way. This kind of inspiration happens as a coincidence or by chance. Even though it's good, original and unique but it's random and doesn't happen that often with most people.
It's a good practice to always be conscious and aware of what inspires you most.
I will discuss this topic more in a future post, but in this post I'd like to share some ways that I always follow when I like to get inspired, or when I stay idle for sometime or run out of new ideas.
So let's get started...
1. Pick your GuitarIt's always good to pick your guitar and play sometime without any backing track or playing some song that you already know. Of course, when you play covers or some of your original songs you might get inspired. But playing the guitar for the sake of exploration is a guaranteed way to generate new ideas.
2. Scale PositionYou can start to play some scale that you know, if you play the scale in a position you already know, most probably you will tend to play the same licks you always play.
But if you start to play the same scale in a new position, then you can come up with new licks.
Some techniques can be applied better and easier in a specific position. But when you play the same scale in a new position you will discover that you can apply different techniques and to express new qualities. This will help a lot in building new licks and ideas.
3. ChordsThe same concept applies to chords. Try to play chords that you know in different positions over the fretboard. Then you can try make some variations to any chord by changing some of its notes.
This is a very powerful way to express new feelings. In some cases, when you try to make a variation to a chord you will end up playing a totally different chord with a unique quality.
You don't have to know what the new chord is called. Even if it's always good to expand your musical knowledge by knowing new chord names and so, but don't let this limit you from moving on and use the new chord variation in a new song or composition.
4. MelodySometimes you can start writing a new song when you compose a new melody, this way you start to harmonize the melody by playing a chord progression that suits and backs your melody. It's not necessary to have a chord progression though, there is other ways to build your song once you have a new melody.
5. Chord ProgressionsAnother way is to play a chord progression, it doesn't have to be a new chord progression by the way. Actually the total number of strong chord progressions is a bit limited specially in mainstream music.
This doesn't have to be a limit. If you have a chord progression that you used in a different song before, you can change the rhythm for example or they way you strum the chords.
You can also play the same chords but in different positions. Or you can play some notes only from the same chords.
These are all some ideas that can make you move on and have new qualities even if you are stuck with the same chord progressions that you usually play.
6. ImproviseAfter you have finished a new chord progression with a new quality, try to record it nicely and start to improvise over it. This will help you come up with a cool melody or some motifs that you can utilize to produce a new song.
If you feel that you are not able to come up with any new ideas, you can try to change the scale position like I said before. You can also change the whole scale. For example if you play natural minor, you can try to play pentatonic minor or harmonic minor. This will inspire you with new ideas for sure.
7. BeatThere is also a couple of ideas to start writing music. For example, you can try to find some drums loop on Internet. Also you can build a new beat on your music sequencer. This will be enough to help you play new riffs.
Try to get some drum loops with new styles that you never played before. I find this very inspiring to me and I always come up with new riffs or chord progressions that can help me produce a new song.
8. TimeA good idea also is try to play along new time signatures. You might find this way a bit complicated at first, but in the end you will have new ideas when you start to play comfortably over a new time signature.
Another way is to play in a new tempo, this will also gets you inspired with a lot of new ideas even if you play along the same beat or chord progression. When you change the tempo up or down this changes the energy significantly.
Everyone feels more comfortable playing in some tempo range, but doing this all the time can be very limiting and will stop you from having new ideas.
There is much more ways to get you started, but I think these are the most common and powerful ways.
I might write a new post with new ways when I build a list in the future. For now, I hope you start practicing these ideas and I'm sure you will find them very helpful.
I will be more than happy if you have some ways that you like to share with me. Leave a comment if you have any suggestion or question.