GG Tips: Beating Writer's Block in the Studio
Published on 23 May 2018
No matter what instruments you can play, or how in depth your studio and recording knowledge goes; everybody has days where they just can't get any momentum going. Writer's block can be an extremely frustrating thing to experience and there's not much that can shatter your confidence like being sat in front of your DAW with nothing to do but procrastinate. We decided that we'd give you a nudge in the right direction with a few tried and tested tips from our staff to shake off the dreaded writer's block and get your productions moving again!
Manage your time and work to a schedule
If you feel like you're struggling to keep up momentum with your music making, then why not make sure that you're giving it the time it deserves? By setting aside dedicated time to work and sticking to your schedule, you're forcing yourself to be creative and stopping yourself from slacking off too much. It's not a good idea to overcommit yourself and pencil in unrealistic, endless hours in the studio, but by regularly setting aside even a small amount of time to making music, you'll get into the habit of working more regularly. We often find that turning on your setup and sitting down in front of it can be half of the battle, but don't allow laziness or a lack of ideas to stop you from doing what you truly love. Whether you feel inspired or not, stick to your schedule for a couple of weeks and we'd be willing to bet that you not only get loads more done but also start to feel more vibed up about the work that you're doing.
Collaborate with other musicians
There's nothing like working with someone new to shake up your creative process and encourage you to do things differently. When you spend time working with a collaborator, you won't just get a different perspective on your music but also an opportunity to soak up as much of their studio knowledge as possible. It doesn't matter if they've got years of experience or are just starting out - when it comes to music, everyone has something to offer and they're bound to have a few tricks up their sleeve that you can pick up. Aside from giving you a valuable insight into how other musicians work, different people bring different skills to the table and bringing a new instrument or style into the mix can be an exciting and invigorating way to kickstart your creativity and get the ideas flowing. At the very least, you'll probably have a lot of fun working with someone else - the studio can be a lonely place and some company is never a bad thing!
Treat yourself to some new gear
There's not much to get you vibed up and excited about getting in the studio like some new toys to play with. We've all had that feeling where we're dying to get home and break open the box of a new piece of kit. New gear is almost guaranteed to make you work in a different way and learning how to operate and implement it into your tracks can be an extremely rewarding process. While splashing out on high-end synths every other week certainly isn't the most cost-effective way to do this, the internet is a wonderful treasure trove full of well-priced and even free plugins, along with plenty of other tools to add to your arsenal. Even a new sample pack can work wonders to help get you going and get you motivated again - have a browse online and see if there's anything that grabs your attention, or failing that, you can always pay us a visit and check out the latest arrivals! We'll always have something exciting for you to check out and play with that doesn't break the bank!
Focus on finishing tracks
Feeling a bit like a spent force whose best ideas are behind them? Well, don't worry, that's probably not the case, but if do you feel like you're in a bit of a rut, why not spend some time finishing off all of those old projects you started and totally abandoned? If you're anything like us, you have an absolute plethora of ideas, unfinished tracks and loops tucked away on a hard drive that will most likely never see the light of day. When you're writing new music, it's so easy to get caught up in new ideas that sometimes older ones fall by the wayside. Rather than letting them disappear forever, there's absolutely loads of value in revisiting old projects and seeing if you can take them a little further. You may find that the tracks you fell out of love with and abandoned actually have a lot of potential and sound great once you take the time to breathe a bit of life into them. At the very least, if you're not having any new ideas, doing this gives you something productive that you can work on until you feel the itch to start something new.
Get out of your own head
Just like our first point about time management and dedicating time to working on music, it's equally important to give your projects room to breathe. Rather than sitting in front of your computer torturing yourself about how everything you lay down sounds uninspired, take a break and don't think about it for a while! Trust us, you'll be amazed at what 10 minutes away from your studio room can do for your mindset. Not only that, it's often the case that during a short break, the ideas you were lacking begin to creep back in and by the time you sit back down, you're raring to go. Take short breaks regularly and spend the time listening to other people's music to inspire you, or simply just chilling out. Remember that all too often the pressure you're putting on yourself is exactly what's holding you back. Making music is a labour of love, so don't beat yourself up, just readjust your mindset and realise that you only needed some time off!
The most important thing to remember is that music is entirely subjective. While you may not think that you're putting out your best work, there's almost certainly going to be someone who enjoys listening to it, so relax and keep on creating! Sometimes the only thing you can do is push yourself to keep trying new things to see what happens and remember that even your biggest inspirations probably felt the same way at some stage, so don't give up!