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Young Prodigy

It's very difficult for me to get inspired.

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I don't know, but often I just don't have the inspiration to compose a song or finish it. I can listen to inspirational songs, try to come up with something on my guitar and I might even get an idea. But even if I do get a musical idea, I won't have the inspiration to actually go inside the midi program and compose the idea. So I don't know why, but I'm just musically uninspired to compose. Nothing seems to inspire me to compose a whole song.

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If you're on the guitar and you have something, why not just keep going there? Why take the effort to get up and go to the MIDI program, by which time you may lose what you've had, or feel that it's too much work, or you'll just do it tomorrow? Just keep writing on the guitar. Just compose the whole thing with a pad and pencil in front of you and play it and play it til it's in your fingers. Then go through the MIDI and take the next step, but first just get it out.

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I wish nobody would ever make a repeat topic. Then we'd have three topics with 5000 posts each.

:/

Try not writing into the computer. That can trick you up. Writing on paper is always easier. The only time I write into the computer is when I'm arranging or writing pit book for marching band, and even then, it's not all in the computer. A lot of it is on the pianer.

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Like I say in every other thread like this:

Inspiration comes in (m)any forms. Try something like:

  • fly a kite
  • build a snowman
  • draw a picture
  • people watch
  • listen to music you love
  • listen to music you hate
  • take a nap
  • watch a scary movie
  • smoke up
  • eat good food
  • give a dollar to someone
  • read a book
  • go for a walk
  • improvise, freely
  • drink tea
  • drink whiskey
  • make origami

Seriously....looking for inspiration will find you nothing. You can choose to do something decidedly unmusical, or immerse yourself in something wholly musical. whatever you're doing, simply pay attention to the world around you. Eventually, something will pique your inspiration and off you go.

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Robin, I'm sorry, but you missed one crucial option on your list that might invoke the most inspiration...

• Steal
a dollar from someone.

Mission Impossible theme, anyone? See? Hmm? AHA! See now? :shifty:

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[*]give a dollar to someone

Is it just me, or does doing this to a random stranger and not saying anything seem like a really fun idea?

They'd be completely bewildered :w00t:. "Excuse me" *hands dollar*...*walks away*

Maybe that wouldn't work for inspiration, but I'd love to do it :P

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I think you'd be surprised...

I've done something similar by placing scratch-off lotto tickets under a random car's windshield wipers.

The feeling is indescribable! :toothygrin:

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For me, I usually get inspired by things I see or do in everyday life. For instance, one day I heard trees swinging in the breeze and scraping against the window, which inspired the song "Trees in the Wind" where I tried to imitate that sound.

Sometimes I come up with a musical concept that I try to employ, just to see how far I can take it.

If you find it hard, or tedious, or aggravating to write music, my only advice would be...

...bleed it out, fight through the tedium. Art isn't supposed to be easy. In my opinion, creating music is like giving birth: it hurts like hell.

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For me personally, what helps me to get inspired to write or to just keep working on ideas or lines I have scribbled down, are to just go for a walk in the woods.

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Inspiration is an empty word. At the very least, a misleading one. People seem to expect to "get inspired", then start writing: gently caress. That. The reason people find things like walking inspiring musically is because they start writing music subconsciously, to the rhythm of their footsteps. Walking also busies the body, provides stimuli, and generally increases the oxygenation and "goodness" in the body/mind. The point is: One must start working, then "inspiration" will come to one. As John Lennon put it: "Let your muse find you working". Seems to have worked for Bach, Beethoven, that lot.

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What Hands said.

You have to always carry the idea of writing music around with you. Like a parrot on your shoulder which keeps saying "I wonder what that'd sound Like, Scwaaack" lol

But seriously, Inspiration really does come after the initial goal to write something.

Other wise it'd be like me saying "I wrote this post before I thought about it." But the thought for each sentence always precedes the actually sentence. You have the initial concept/goal and you brain figures out how to make it readable.

For me, I have trouble not being distracted by ideas! Something is always setting me off on a different tangent. The problem is that I may never finish something though because I keep sidetracking and changing my mind.

The other thing I have to say is that you have to learn to recognise the potential of an idea and accept its potential!

I read a book called Effortless Mastery. Good Book.

Since reading that book, I've never heard a "crap" or "bad" idea. Simply ones which require different components to make them complete.

Also, really try and let go of the idea of the 'perfect' idea, or that anything has to be perfect... Or even good!

In fact, the best thing you might ever do is go to your guitar and try your hardest to write some REALLY REALLY BAD SHOCKING HORRIBLE music.

I'm not kidding. Really do this.

You'll be suprised by what happens. Suddenly when you stop trying to write good music and come up with good ideas (by being okay with the fact that something you might come up with may not be great) you will start finding that it is a hell of a lot hard to write something BAD then it is something good.

If you are a Jazz player, try it when improvising! Get a backing track and really try to play a terrible solo. Try to hit all the wrong notes. You'll probably go "wow, that sounded pretty cool" etc

I'm not a very good composer, so don't think that I'm saying that I'm above this and everything. I'm not. I still deal with it. But I think most of my problems are no longer the one you described.

Chris :-)

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What Hands said.

You have to always carry the idea of writing music around with you. Like a parrot on your shoulder which keeps saying "I wonder what that'd sound Like, Scwaaack" lol

But seriously, Inspiration really does come after the initial goal to write something.

Other wise it'd be like me saying "I wrote this post before I thought about it." But the thought for each sentence always precedes the actually sentence. You have the initial concept/goal and you brain figures out how to make it readable.

For me, I have trouble not being distracted by ideas! Something is always setting me off on a different tangent. The problem is that I may never finish something though because I keep sidetracking and changing my mind.

The other thing I have to say is that you have to learn to recognise the potential of an idea and accept its potential!

I read a book called Effortless Mastery. Good Book.

Since reading that book, I've never heard a "crap" or "bad" idea. Simply ones which require different components to make them complete.

Also, really try and let go of the idea of the 'perfect' idea, or that anything has to be perfect... Or even good!

In fact, the best thing you might ever do is go to your guitar and try your hardest to write some REALLY REALLY BAD SHOCKING HORRIBLE music.

I'm not kidding. Really do this.

You'll be suprised by what happens. Suddenly when you stop trying to write good music and come up with good ideas (by being okay with the fact that something you might come up with may not be great) you will start finding that it is a hell of a lot hard to write something BAD then it is something good.

If you are a Jazz player, try it when improvising! Get a backing track and really try to play a terrible solo. Try to hit all the wrong notes. You'll probably go "wow, that sounded pretty cool" etc

I'm not a very good composer, so don't think that I'm saying that I'm above this and everything. I'm not. I still deal with it. But I think most of my problems are no longer the one you described.

Chris :-)

That is an excellent book. I read it a few years ago, just after high school. I owe a lot to Kenny Werner for writing it. I have trouble getting started sometimes, too, and the suggestion that we all try to write bad music, however shocking or counterintuitive, is tremendously freeing. When you approach your instrument in that frame of mind, you just let the music come to you, rather than trying to force it out like a harsh turd. :P

Those who aren't willing to write bad music are not likely to write much good music, either. That's the way I see it, anyway. Too much ego fuckin' things up.

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Makes me want to see/hear some of the "bad" music by John Williams and the infallible professionals of today... might, well.... inspire some new composers that writing cruddy music is okay from time to time. Hey, where do we learn? ;)

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That is an excellent book. I read it a few years ago, just after high school. I owe a lot to Kenny Werner for writing it. I have trouble getting started sometimes, too, and the suggestion that we all try to write bad music, however shocking or counterintuitive, is tremendously freeing. When you approach your instrument in that frame of mind, you just let the music come to you, rather than trying to force it out like a harsh turd. :P

Those who aren't willing to write bad music are not likely to write much good music, either. That's the way I see it, anyway. Too much ego fuckin' things up.

Rather good point, there.

I'm certain part of the whole "write bad music" idea is that by writing stuff you think is bad, but at the same time doing it consciously and willingly enables you to understand better the reasons why you may find something unattractive or bad. OR, it can make you actually find good stuff where you thought it was all bad in the first place.

Under a different name, I think, the same would be if you just told people to write "whatever comes to mind, no matter what." So all the pick and choosing goes out the window. Besides, generally people have no idea just how imaginative they can be if they stop picking and choosing. Though practically you can't have EVERYTHING so picking and choosing is going to happen anyways, but it's nicer to have it happen in this case later on for the sake of the exercise than right before any ideas are really considered.

Like, prejudice against ideas before trying them out, musically, is not very healthy. The "write bad music" is an attempt to remedy this, I suppose.

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Just think of all the scores that Mozart, Beethoven, Brahms, Tchaikovsky, Wagner, and Mahler didn't publish because they thought it was "bad music". Perhaps the world would not see them as the great infalliable composers that they're percieved to be today had they been published.

It's all impression management. Whether you write bad music or not, you must never let it reach the outside world of your hard disk, lest you loose your reputation as a serious composer. ;)

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Just think of all the scores that Mozart, Beethoven, Brahms, Tchaikovsky, Wagner, and Mahler didn't publish because they thought it was "bad music". Perhaps the world would not see them as the great infalliable composers that they're percieved to be today had they been published.

It's all impression management. Whether you write bad music or not, you must never let it reach the outside world of your hard disk, lest you loose your reputation as a serious composer. ;)

?!

I much rather choose freedom of expression than your so called "reputation."

Nevermind that whoever views Mozart, Wagner, etc as infallible composers sure as hell isn't in any position to speak since to think that would demonstrate tremendous ignorance. Just to name Mozart, we know through his non-published pieces much more about him as a composer, human being, etc than the stuff he sold to the outside.

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I wish nobody would ever make a repeat topic. Then we'd have three topics with 5000 posts each.

:/

I saw this comment and had to respond to it: We'd still have the same problem then- but instead of repeat topics it would be repeat posts. Besides it would take an incredibly long time to:

1) Categorize everything into three threads.

and

2) It would probably be a bit over whelming to see a topic with roughly 5000 responses each. Probably some great info would be buried deep within all of those posts. If someone were bound and determined to read all of those posts- it would also take a great deal of time as well.

Perhaps your comment was made in jest- but it sure doesn't read like it. Repeat topics are bound to come back up because this is common problem that many people deal with. Your comment wasn't really needed either- as I'm sure you've created at least one repeat topic in your time on the web. It would have been much better if you would have just stuck with your second portion where you're actually giving advice instead.

Now back to the topic:

Many of the posts have the right idea. Go out and experience life and get away from the music. Then you can often come up with ideas and inspiration. It's like the old adage "You'll find true love when you stop looking." Used to drive me crazy! :) Stop trying to become inspired and allow yourself to stumble upon it. Another idea is to try writing to some form of media. I work alot in video games and film- and when I'm giving a visual sequence or concept art it can really inspire me. Try taking some video clip that you enjoy, removing the audio and then try writing to it. Sometimes it helps to try a video clip which you haven't heard the score to so you don't find yourself recreating what was already there.

Finally, when I'm lacking inspiration, sometimes I just sit and play my piano. I forget about composing and just play music. I get back to the enjoyment of creating music (original or not) and that helps as well. If none of these things help, sometimes it is good to just take a breather. Take a break and then come back to it after a week of purposely not working on any music. That can really recharge your batteries sometimes!

I hope some of that helps.

Thanks,

Nate

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Art isn't supposed to be easy. In my opinion, creating music is like giving birth: it hurts like hell.

I loved the quote. I think that you're right though. If the artistic ability of composing and finishing pieces were easy, would everyone be doing it? Music takes something different that not everyone has; some do, some don't. Plain and simple.

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I loved the quote. I think that you're right though. If the artistic ability of composing and finishing pieces were easy, would everyone be doing it? Music takes something different that not everyone has; some do, some don't. Plain and simple.

If it can be done, it can be taught.

PS: Anyone can be a composer or a musician. That's what I meant. :>

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