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To Gain A New Creative Perspective In Music

Despite our best efforts, creative stagnation and predictability are things we all experience as songwriters at some point in our careers. Working hard and pushing through works for some artists, but others need to bring real change into their processes in order to move forward. creative

Here are four ways to get a new musical perspective if you’re stuck and in search of a little creative inspiration:

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Take a trip to focus on music

If you’re in dire need of a new musical perspective, consider skipping your vacation and taking a trip focused on making music instead. Where and how we make music are factors that can siphon away our creative energy and suppress new ideas. Or, it can do just the opposite. Getting away for a week, month, or even longer can help us get back to our creative roots by giving us the space and freedom to explore new ideas. Yes, it’s expensive, and yes, not every musician can afford to do this. But for those who can, music-centered trips are well worth the investment.

Learn a new instrument

Remember back when you first learned how to sing, play the guitar, or drum? That early sense of frustration and limitless possibility might be exactly what you need to find a new musical perspective. Being able to easily play an instrument often means playing through the same tired ideas over and over again, but we don’t have that option when it comes to learning a new instrument. Toying around and picking up the basics on an unfamiliar instrument can expose us to new ideas and perspectives.

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Bring in new collaborators

Working with a new collaborator might be uncomfortable for some musicians, but it’s something that can add new life and meaning to your process. You or your band have developed a certain way of working if you’ve been making music for a long time, but a new person blows up that dynamic in a powerful way. Ideas you never would’ve thought of on your own can materialize out of nowhere simply by adding a new person into the mix.

Blow up your process

The way you do things in songwriting might feel comfortable, but comfort is often a bad thing when it comes to creativity. Changing your process in a significant way can shake up your songwriting world, whether it’s starting the process by singing without music or writing drum parts last if they’re what you typically do first. New instruments, experimenting with musical extremes like tempo and dissonance, or writing as minimally as possible are all good things to explore here, but the important thing to focus on is creating in ways that are exciting and unfamiliar.

Each of these tips are different, but all are focused on embracing newness, risk, and fun in your process. When the same old methods keep resulting in predictable results, it’s time to explore working in ways that are different to jumpstart our creativity in music.

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Why Overthinking Hurts Your Music And What To Do

Hurts Expectation and pressure can be good for you as a musician, whether you’re performing on stage in front of a huge crowd or paying by the hour to record new music in a studio. Without a dog in the fight, what you’re doing as a musician is a carefree hobby.

Hurts

But, like so many other aspects of a healthy music career, a balance has to be found between striving to perform well and living up to what’s expected of us and not overthinking and questioning everything we do. When we let doubt, insecurity, and fear guide us in music, we stifle our best ideas.

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Fear is an enemy of creative expression

When you set out to create new music, what’s on your mind? Are you genuinely curious about what’s possible in music? Are you bogged down with a desire to make music that’s conventionally successful? Overthinking the songwriting process is really just a symptom of fear. You might hold a belief that you aren’t cut out for music, or that everything you create isn’t good enough.

Other musicians write with the idea that they’re perpetually one step away from a melody, beat, or chord progression that can launch their careers and validate their efforts. Rather than addressing our insecurities head-on, many of us work by questioning each and every aspect of our creative processes. Pressure can be good for performing live. However, having doubt and fixating on mistakes or shortcomings can ruin shows by building a wall between musicians and audiences.

Constant overthinking is a terrible way to work because fear and creativity don’t go well together. You’re likely to come up with your best ideas when you create in a way that embraces curiosity and risk. Just know that occasional failure is an inevitable part of these things. We often overthink writing music out of the fear of not living up to our potential. However, we then end up writing safe, bland, and forgettable music that doesn’t reflect our true talents and creative energy. But while not addressing the root causes of overthinking during the songwriting process often makes for bad music, the greater danger here is becoming discouraged and bailing on your music interests altogether.

If you let your doubts lead you, you’ll end up going places you don’t want to. Managing your fears and insecurities during the creative process is crucial for musicians who want to make creative expression a permanent fixture in their lives.

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How overthinking damages the non-creative aspects of a music career

Actions like negatively obsessing over your streaming stats and social media follows is a misuse of focus. The same goes for artists who constantly feel like other bands have unfair access to opportunities that they don’t. Yes, most of us find motivation in connecting with large audiences while succeeding locally and beyond.

However, similar to how fear thwarts creative expression, insecurity damages our ability to advocate for our music and find opportunities. For example, if you directly connect your self worth as an artist to the number of streams, listeners, and social media followers you get, you’re probably never going to be fulfilled as a creative, and that’s a recipe for quitting. Similarly, if you’re more obsessed with how comparable bands are doing than you are in creating great work and sharing it, how can you expect to get where you want to go?