Strategies for Growing Your Music Creativity

In 2016, the average hit song was just over three minutes long. On paper, you’d probably think “3 minutes? That’s not a lot of time, so not a lot of material I have to create to fill it. Easy!” Well, you’re probably wrong. It can be hard to get your music creativity flowing sometimes, so here are some tips to help you along the way.

Does Music Creativity Need To Take A Lot Of Time?

Possibly, yes. Finding that one magic idea can take time to develop. If you’re lucky, it can just come to you one day while you’re walking down the street. You’ll never know when inspiration is going to strike.

Being creative can sometimes delay your track as you get bogged down with what you think is the right thing to do with it. All of a sudden your idea can seem further and further away and the mind blocks start taking over:

  • Doubting yourself: When you open an old project, you might start doubting your initial idea. After you open it for the sixth time, the idea might be completely lost on you… Even though the initial idea was brilliant.
  • Confusion: Occasionally, you need to get caught up in the moment of a great idea to capture the spirit behind it. Sometimes, the longer it takes, the harder it is to remember why you started the project in the first place.
  • Weak results: When you spend months agonising over one song, you could be ignoring hundreds of potential songs. How many other ideas for songs could you have had in that time? How many other songs could you have finished in that span of time?
  • Start multiple projects: Don’t think about it. Don’t tweak things. Just do it! Have an idea for a melody? Open a project, write it down and save it. Give yourself an objective to do three projects minimum in an evening instead of finishing one average song. Use the Pommodoro Technique to properly organise your time and stick to the timelines you give yourself.
  • Record live: Maybe you’re not the best performer yet. Start by recording live takes and this will give you spontaneous and fresh ideas that you can edit later. Plus it makes you practice.
  • Collect: Put all of those unfinished songs in a folder. Now you can combine that melody you made in the early hours with the percussion idea you had one afternoon with your mate. Instead of stressing for hours over trying to complete one song in one sitting, you’ve naturally built a song out of organic, genuine, one-off bursts of creativity that came to you at random moments.

The key is to have lots of ideas, combine and harvest these and you’ll get to enjoy the songwriting process again and perhaps come up with your most creative and honest material yet.