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Combating a Creative Block

The musician's worst nightmare -> writer's block or creative block. I'm sure everyone has had it and I’m sure there are many different ways people have used to try fight it. Here are some methods that get my creative juices flowing when I’m in a rut..

1. Listen To A Recorded Idea

I tend to get inspired a lot at work. The machines have a little groove/ rhythm and then I have a melody. The only problem is I can't make a beat. That's when I whip out my phone and record myself humming the melody.

It just so happens that I have garageband on my phone so I can layer all the different instrument hummings too. Find an appropriate app for your phone that’ll help you capture ideas on the go.

2. Make The Music An Animal

A lot of human inventions mimick animals. The classical musicians made melodies after swans (Swan Lake) and Bumblebees (Flight Of The Bumblebees). Try making a beat or verse after an animal. Watch a few videos to help get the creative juices going.

3. Copy, Strip and Go

There are numerous times when you hear something from another artist and want to try it out. Try copy the progressions, flow or rhyme scheme and then once the creativity kicks in, strip away all the copied material and carry on going.

4. Listen Outside Your Genre

This should be one of those things you should be doing already. If you make hiphop, try limiting how much hiphop you listen to and take more other genres in. I'm currently listening to a ton of TheWeeknd and traditional Chinese music. A song that I used this tactic is My Queen. It’s inspired by the Chinese bamboo flute.

5. Dabble With Some New Instruments

There comes a time when you get tired of your “usual” formula. I recommend getting a percussion instrument that requires little or no musical knowledge and just beat that instrument. DIY instruments are also great at getting the juices going.

I used a cornbag as a shaker for “Harp”, a Djembe and a Harmonica by then I was inspired and completed the beat. Watch the making video here.

6. Accapella First

Everyone has a story. This story could be yours to tell. Whether it’s a poem, a monologue or just a random conversation, try using spoken word to direct your creativity. Try writing about someone else or from someone else's perspective. If you're a producer, try conveying that story through a beat.


Maybe you're in creative block because you've abused the creative juices. Stop and go for a bike ride or work on some other music aspect that doesn't require any creativity such as account maintenance.

Getting out of a music rut is can require a collaboration so let’s connect on whatsapp @ 0835709602 or email me and maybe we can make something work.


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