As artists, we all have our streaks and struggles, good days and bad days. But, every once in a while we face one of the most common, yet annoying and mind-boggling situations—a creative block!
Has this ever happened to you? Have you ever picked up your instrument only to find that nothing new comes out? You find yourself mentally stuck on how to progress or develop a song? Well, fear not; here are some tips to help you work your way through a block and get back to creating.
Get Out of Your Comfort Zone: Yes, literally get out of it. Walk to some new place in town and bring your instrument with you. If you sing, create new vocals on the spot. Discover new places and different scenarios that completely disrupt your regular routine. Step into the unknown!
Switch Up Your Practice Spot: Lots of musicians practice in a consistent, specific location. While this can be good as you learn to relate to a space and develop a comfortable focus, it can also become monotonous. So, try playing somewhere else! Take your instrument to a different spot in your house or studio and see what happens. Even rearranging your space can give a new feel to a familiar place and serve to refresh your mind.
- Stop Playing: While we don’t recommend this indefinitely (or even frequently), taking a couple days off can help you move through a creative block. You might feel sluggish once you pick up your instrument again, but it should only take a couple minutes of warm-ups to get you back on track. Why do this, you may ask? Perhaps your mind and creative capacity have been stretched to the limit and just need a little break. You have to give yourself time to relax and regain strength; procrastinate a little and enjoy other things in life, like watching television or hanging out with friends. Trust me, things that help get your mind away from the compulsive need to see progress in your work will actually increase your desire and motivation to create. Your budding mental itch will guide you back to your work after a few days and will indeed bring great results, greater than what you may imagine.
- Learn A Different Music Genre: While this can be a bit more time-consuming, try learning a new style or two. A new genre can be a very helpful mental refresher. If you typically play rock music, you don’t have to stray too far. Try learning some heavy metal riffs, or even country riffs. Experiment with a few classical songs to help change your perspective. The mental exercise of learning something new can yield great results in your usual playing style.