We have all been there before…For some it only lasts a couple of days , but for others it can last weeks. What I’m talking about is what producers refer to as “Beat Block” or the inability to find inspiration to make music.
More often than not, just listening to music can be a good way to take a break from creating. The key thing is just to listen and zone out, not stress about making music just enjoy whatever your listening to. Sometimes it helps to listen to Hip-Hop if you are a Hip-Hop producer. It might be a good idea to switch it up and explore some other genres like Jazz, Blues or even Classical music. Listening to genres outside of what you are used to can be a great way to expose yourself to new melodies and different rhythms you might not have heard before.
Another way to deal with being un-inspired is to try playing a new instrument that you haven’t used before. The guitar or bass guitar can be a great asset to any studio producer and will add to your production skills immensely.
A lot of producers will purchase new plugins or sound kits when they run out of inspiration, and sometimes this does work. However, you don’t have to always spend money on instruments or new sounds to get inspired. Sometimes just learning a new mixing technique will inspire you to make your next hit. Try using an effect on your drums or virtual instruments that you have never used before, and you might be surprised by the results. Many DAWs come with more Effects plug-ins out of the box than you’ll ever get to use, so during your downtime is a good time to try some out. Ever tried reversing a guitar sound or a string sound? How about reversing the drums on a beat for 4 bars? Don’t just use the same low-pass filters that everyone else is using, try and make your own new effect presets by combining different effects modules.
Sampling new sounds from nature and the natural environment around you can help inspire a new musical creation. Many producers sample themselves or friends beatboxing, using turntables or just make drums out everyday objects to add to their arsenal of sounds. You should try experimenting with some everyday objects around the house if you are not sure where to start. Trash cans, tables, doors, faucets and switches are a good place to start. Don’t have a microphone? Try recording something with your mobile phone for a lo-fi digital sound.
So what inspires you to make music? How do you get over beat block? Let us know in the comments section below.