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Help! How to get insipration?

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KatMaestro
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Help! How to get insipration? Apr. 3rd, 2013 @ 06:44 PM Reply

Recently I tried to write some catchy tunes. I usually stopped half way because of either I ran out of idea or worse, inspiration. The more tried to finish a project the more I screwed things up. To note, I have done composition as a side hobby, although I had previous musical training; I pretty much couldn't write anything formal.

Is there a way to gain inspiration in short or long time? And how?

Thanks a lot for your answer.

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Response to Help! How to get insipration? Apr. 3rd, 2013 @ 06:55 PM Reply

At 4/3/13 06:44 PM, Elitistinen wrote: Recently I tried to write some catchy tunes. I usually stopped half way because of either I ran out of idea or worse, inspiration. The more tried to finish a project the more I screwed things up. To note, I have done composition as a side hobby, although I had previous musical training; I pretty much couldn't write anything formal.

Is there a way to gain inspiration in short or long time? And how?

Thanks a lot for your answer.

Well, inspiration can be gained by listening to music that you eventually want to sound like. for example, I want to eventually gain a sound like this and a little of this too so I end up listening to these artists and others like them and end up thinking up ideas like these because that's what I listen to. you just gotta listen to stuff you like and eventually stuff you write will be on par, if not better, than what you like.


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Response to Help! How to get insipration? Apr. 3rd, 2013 @ 11:03 PM Reply

At 4/3/13 06:44 PM, Elitistinen wrote: Recently I tried to write some catchy tunes. I usually stopped half way because of either I ran out of idea or worse, inspiration. The more tried to finish a project the more I screwed things up. To note, I have done composition as a side hobby, although I had previous musical training; I pretty much couldn't write anything formal.

Is there a way to gain inspiration in short or long time? And how?

Thanks a lot for your answer.

All of that is true. But FIRST, a bit of music theory will greatly help you (you need to learn at least what's a scale/ chord/ rythms).
Also you can listen/ get the midi of your favorite songs and take a look at the patern/rythm used.
Another thing, is to play on a real instrument (piano?) or a midi keyboard. It helps to clarify ideas and to write what you got in mind.

Finally if you don't have any inpiration for melodies at the moment do something else - making rythm pattern with drums, messing around with a synth trying a different style...whatever you feel like basicly

Of course, none of that is trully mandatory but it's surely helps a great deal.

NoAI
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Response to Help! How to get insipration? Apr. 3rd, 2013 @ 11:13 PM Reply

At 4/3/13 06:55 PM, NimblekidX wrote:
At 4/3/13 06:44 PM, Elitistinen wrote: Recently I tried to write some catchy tunes. I usually stopped half way because of either I ran out of idea or worse, inspiration. The more tried to finish a project the more I screwed things up. To note, I have done composition as a side hobby, although I had previous musical training; I pretty much couldn't write anything formal.

Is there a way to gain inspiration in short or long time? And how?

Thanks a lot for your answer.
Well, inspiration can be gained by listening to music that you eventually want to sound like. for example, I want to eventually gain a sound like this and a little of this too so I end up listening to these artists and others like them and end up thinking up ideas like these because that's what I listen to. you just gotta listen to stuff you like and eventually stuff you write will be on par, if not better, than what you like.

You mean formal, like classic pop song construction? Because if you can't create something with a usual

What he said, I've heard that works for a lot of people but doesn't work for me, I try to not listen to other music to get inspired because I'm always afraid that it'll heavily influence my work. Unless it's more of a technical problem, of course.
But watching a movie, looking at an incredible drawing or admiring any other work of art can always bring forth an idea.

What I do, is play guitar without thinking too much about what I'm doing on the fret board and just think about stuff, eventually I hit a note that sticks. Also, you know, life... I'm one of those that are more creative when feeling down, so I also struggle with creativity and inspiration when I'm just fine.

Honestly, I don't believe that there is a magic way to get your mojo but there are a lot of techniques to help you develop your creative thought, sometimes, it's seriously trivial stuff like looking at a door and figure out other things that that door could be... You could do some research on that.

Something that got stuck in my mind while I was studying music and production was something that Antoine de Saint-Exupéry said, ruffly translated would be: "A rock is no longer a rock when someone gazes it and imagines a cathedral"

I'm sorry, I'd really like to help since I completely understand how hard it can be...

tl;dr : Whatever, alchool.

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Response to Help! How to get insipration? Apr. 3rd, 2013 @ 11:40 PM Reply

Hello! I have a similar problem sometimes, I'm in the process of writing some music in different genres >.< well when I run into writer's block I try to take a break from music for a short while. I would play just enough to keep my playing skills sharp with mindless practice and set the instrument down and did other creative stuff, for me it was drawing or painting, but it could be another hobby or talent you have. sometimes an image i make or some experience i have outside gives me ides for new riffs and so on. if you force yourself to think on it youll only be frustrated when you draw blanks my friend. watch films, listen to a new style of music, or whatever you like outside of making music and give your brain a chance to think outside the box a while. it will hit you when you dont expect it BUT be sure to not expect to not expect it, if that makes sense, take a mental vacation. i hope this works for you and good luck!

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Response to Help! How to get insipration? Apr. 4th, 2013 @ 02:56 AM Reply

try writing techno

thats my advice anyway

NikeTheSword
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Response to Help! How to get insipration? Apr. 4th, 2013 @ 03:42 AM Reply

So you start to compose and half-way through mind goes blank?

Fast-trick:
Save, name it properly (i.e. I name my unfinished tracks by mood/situation, just so that you recognize the "feel" later :D)
Open another project (usually another half-finished one for me), listen it through
Remind yourself that you're not losing your skills (this is actually important, worst thing you can do to yourself as a composer/artist is to start criticizing you yourself)

Slow-trick:
Professionalism in anything is about having passion to what you do.
Keep learning more about music
Like some here already suggested you can never know too much of music theory, BUT
it doesn't have to be sillyboring theory always.
Take a track you've recently liked and try to learn the loops-n-hooks of that track.

This is what many professional artist do also, if they need to compose tribal pieces they listen to tribal music and try to learn more of it, if it's hardkoor techno they learn more about it.

GL HF, inspiration will come, just keep doing it.


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Response to Help! How to get insipration? Apr. 4th, 2013 @ 07:26 AM Reply

The best thing is when you have a song in your head, and you just have to write it down. But that's only for when you actually have inspiration.

To me when I don't have any idea for a song at all the best way to get it done is to force limitations on myself. If I have too many options, I just don't know where to begin.

You can create a song with no inspiration at all, by going about very methodically. Find a theme and a purpose for your song. Then think what key would fit with that. What metre. Then What song structure. After that chord progression, Rhythm. All the basic things. Think of some things that have not been done to often before, to create some sense of originality. When you got all that make a nice accompanying music with it. Now it's time for the melody. Put some notes that fit the chord scheme on the accents. You can increase tension by using some notes that don't actually fit with the chords. Start a segment of your song out with notes that fit the chords. Gradually use notes that fit less and less. In the end dissolve the tension by ending on a note that sounds consonant again so you get a nice arc. Now put some softer notes in between the accent notes, that move away or towards the accent notes in terms of both pitch and velocity, so you get some nice waves in you melody.

Now you've created a song needing no inspiration at all. Of course you can change it at any time into something more interesting, funky or whatever. If along the line your inspiration picks up again, and some music starts to form in your head; go for it. In fact that part's probably necessary for any good music production.

The trick at that point is to change everything you need again. For example, if you suddenly think of a catchy melody or bass riff, you may find out the chords and/ or the the rhythm don't (completely) fit. You can do two things: Change the chords and rhythm to the melody or bass riff. Or if you have to go too much out of your way, leave the song for now, and create a completely new one with your new found inspiration, and come back to the initial song when it's done.

The risk is you get too many unfinished projects like this. You can always revisit older projects. Take the nice parts of it. Put them on good parts of another song. And like some sort of doctor Frankenstein, create a monster.


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DjAbbic
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Response to Help! How to get insipration? Apr. 4th, 2013 @ 07:55 AM Reply

I think what could work in this situation is putting what's in your head into your DAW quickly with very basic synths. This way, you have put all your ideas down and you won't lose anything. After this stage you can work on making the synths that you had imagined and mixing them, which does not require much inspiration.

I often find myself messing around with a melody and making a great synth for it, but then the next time I open the project I forget what I was going to do with it.

That's just what I think works (even though I don't do it myself). Just find what you're most comfortable with and work with that. Good luck.


New electro house/complextro song

I do not swear, smoke or drink alcohol. Oh sh*t! My cigarette just fell in my can of beer!

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Response to Help! How to get insipration? Apr. 4th, 2013 @ 11:59 PM Reply

If you have an idea for a song, get it down on paper as soon as you can before you forget. You will have a wealth of melodies to fall back on within a month. Download an audio recorder application on your phone so you can remember melody ideas. Even if I'm you are out, you can always run to your car for a second to hum a melody/beat box a rhythm.

Also, if you know how to play an instrument, learn different songs. Learn to play them inside out and backwards. Also, sing the notes/intervals that you are playing (unless it is a woodwind instrument). When you do this you make a deeper connection with the music you and you'll learn the instrument better in the long run.

Oddly enough, I get a lot of rhythmic inspiration when I eat cereal in the morning based on the rhythm that I chew.


Check it! :) //// Never stop making music. Play MOTORJOUST!!!Check it! :)

SourJovis
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Response to Help! How to get insipration? Apr. 5th, 2013 @ 12:33 PM Reply

At 4/4/13 11:59 PM, frootza wrote: Oddly enough, I get a lot of rhythmic inspiration when I eat cereal in the morning based on the rhythm that I chew.

Heh. That's just funny.

I get the same when I'm walking. Which can be annoying. Try walking for 5 km with a 5/4 metre with accent shift stuck in your head.


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CheckeredZebra
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Response to Help! How to get insipration? Apr. 5th, 2013 @ 12:48 PM Reply

Think of a scene you created one day.
It could be an uneventful daydream, a fight scene involving a T-rex and a tank, or that one time when you were 5 pretending to be Mufasa from Lion King.

Score a song as if it were for that scene. Since music is a hobby for you, you can even leave these half finished and come back to them later. Or heck, even mush two scenes together.

Works well enough, I think.

KatMaestro
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Response to Help! How to get insipration? Apr. 5th, 2013 @ 01:17 PM Reply

Thank you all very much for the replies. A lot of them are contained with golden advices and tips. I am trying to follow all of your directions and see which ones work the best for me.

Awesome, Newgrounds Audio Forum rocks!

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Response to Help! How to get insipration? Apr. 5th, 2013 @ 01:34 PM Reply

Lots of TLDRs in here. My god.

I mean....if youre old enough you could smoke some weed. More musicians do that for inspiration then would admit.

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Response to Help! How to get insipration? Apr. 5th, 2013 @ 01:50 PM Reply

If you're of a writing mind, I suggest combining writing and music. I like to write out lyrics to lyricless songs. If you get the tone, feeling, and contour of a song down in writing, then it's much easier to translate to music. If you can sing the lyrics, translate that melody to the actual melody of your song. It's a great creative exercise and good for inspiration.

KatMaestro
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Response to Help! How to get insipration? Apr. 5th, 2013 @ 02:11 PM Reply

At 4/3/13 06:55 PM, NimblekidX wrote: Well, inspiration can be gained by listening to music that you eventually want to sound like. for example, I want to eventually gain a sound like this and a little of this too so I end up listening to these artists and others like them and end up thinking up ideas like these because that's what I listen to. you just gotta listen to stuff you like and eventually stuff you write will be on par, if not better, than what you like.

Excellent advices, thanks. I have also followed your tips during Skype talk session.

At 4/4/13 03:42 AM, NikeTheSword wrote: So you start to compose and half-way through mind goes blank?

Fast-trick:
Save, name it properly (i.e. I name my unfinished tracks by mood/situation, just so that you recognize the "feel" later :D)
Open another project (usually another half-finished one for me), listen it through
Remind yourself that you're not losing your skills (this is actually important, worst thing you can do to yourself as a composer/artist is to start criticizing you yourself)

I have tried this direction before posting on this forum. I do follow old projects and reuse some of the arrangements for newer projects. Problem as it was too colorless for the sound and it always sounds similar; which turned out a new project becomes just a remix of older ones. I believe your "Slow-trick" advice works much better for me.

Thank you, NikeTheSword!

At 4/3/13 11:03 PM, Atyon wrote: All of that is true. But FIRST, a bit of music theory will greatly help you (you need to learn at least what's a scale/ chord/ rythms).

I have previous musical training in university (just minor courses I took during fresh years). Is grade 5's level good enough? :D I believe it doesn't help if I can't apply what I have learned with excellency.

Also you can listen/ get the midi of your favorite songs and take a look at the patern/rythm used.

I enjoy re-scoring patterns and melodies of certain song. Using Midi is great and fast, problem is, it creates unwanted procrastination and reduces learning skills once I get to depend on the pre-scored notes.

Another thing, is to play on a real instrument (piano?) or a midi keyboard. It helps to clarify ideas and to write what you got in mind.

I play piano, guitar, concert and Irish flutes. Yes, this is a very good advice, playing other or own songs to create or remind inspiration. However it isn't always working for me.

Finally if you don't have any inpiration for melodies at the moment do something else - making rythm pattern with drums, messing around with a synth trying a different style...whatever you feel like basicly

Wow, a very creative way! Why I hadn't discover this earlier. Great advice, noted. Thank you sir :).

At 4/3/13 11:13 PM, NoAI wrote: What he said, I've heard that works for a lot of people but doesn't work for me, I try to not listen to other music to get inspired because I'm always afraid that it'll heavily influence my work. Unless it's more of a technical problem, of course.

Same applies for me. I'm always afraid of getting heavy influences from certain works which might damage my creative.

Something that got stuck in my mind while I was studying music and production was something that Antoine de Saint-ExupÃf©ry said, ruffly translated would be: "A rock is no longer a rock when someone gazes it and imagines a cathedral". Also, you know, life... I'm one of those that are more creative when feeling down, so I also struggle with creativity and inspiration when I'm just fine.

I wish my life is the same as everyone else on here :(. A busy life with little color. Maintaining servers and database with constant headache works, not a very good way to obtain ideas or influences from, lol. Therefore I need other ways to help my creativity to work in this environment.

Honestly, I don't believe that there is a magic way to get your mojo but there are a lot of techniques to help you develop your creative thought, sometimes, it's seriously trivial stuff like looking at a door and figure out other things that that door could be... You could do some research on that.

Good points. No magic but there is always certain best solutions to solve certain similar problems. I'm going to research more on this. Thank you sir for your detailed answers, NoAI. :)

tl;dr : Whatever, alchool.

Bless you. :)

At 4/3/13 11:40 PM, Tyrexx wrote: Hello! I have a similar problem sometimes, I'm in the process of writing some music in different genres >.< well when I run into writer's block I try to take a break from music for a short while. I would play just enough to keep my playing skills sharp with mindless practice and set the instrument down and did other creative stuff, for me it was drawing or painting, but it could be another hobby or talent you have.

You know, Finns usually can't be imaginative in this way. Enough of joke, but it is quite true that I have a technical mindset rather than the softer mindset like everyone else, which mine isn't suited for writing music. Therefore, overcoming writer's block for me is quite difficult. Perhaps, feeding me some kossu would work :P!

Thank you for your answer bro.

At 4/4/13 02:56 AM, jarrydn wrote: try writing techno

I hope you really mean it (or does it contain humors?). Anyway, I shall see this as an advice and try it out.

At 4/4/13 07:26 AM, SourJovis wrote: You can create a song with no inspiration at all, by going about very methodically. Find a theme and a purpose for your song. Then think what key would fit with that. What metre. Then What song structure. After that chord progression, Rhythm. All the basic things. Think of some things that have not been done to often before, to create some sense of originality. When you got all that make a nice accompanying music with it. Now it's time for the melody. Put some notes that fit the chord scheme on the accents. You can increase tension by using some notes that don't actually fit with the chords. Start a segment of your song out with notes that fit the chords. Gradually use notes that fit less and less. In the end dissolve the tension by ending on a note that sounds consonant again so you get a nice arc. Now put some softer notes in between the accent notes, that move away or towards the accent notes in terms of both pitch and velocity, so you get some nice waves in you melody.

Very informative advices and tips SourJovis! o.O I have tried this out and it is working the best for me. Although I do try other advices as well. Thank you a tons sir!

At 4/4/13 07:55 AM, DjAbbic wrote: I think what could work in this situation is putting what's in your head into your DAW quickly with very basic synths. This way, you have put all your ideas down and you won't lose anything. After this stage you can work on making the synths that you had imagined and mixing them, which does not require much inspiration.
At 4/4/13 11:59 PM, frootza wrote: If you have an idea for a song, get it down on paper as soon as you can before you forget. You will have a wealth of melodies to fall back on within a month. Download an audio recorder application on your phone so you can remember melody ideas. Even if I'm you are out, you can always run to your car for a second to hum a melody/beat box a rhythm.

I have various ways to quickly write down ideas: either scribbling down in pocket notebook/papers, write done on hands or play the ideas directly with an instrument (when traveling to somewhere, I carry a flute with me). If I have nothing with me at the moment, I could whistle certain melodies.

As SourJovis said, it's quite useless if I have no inspiration. However this is good advice, nonetheless.

At 4/5/13 12:48 PM, CheckeredZebra wrote: Think of a scene you created one day.
It could be an uneventful daydream, a fight scene involving a T-rex and a tank, or that one time when you were 5 pretending to be Mufasa from Lion King.

I have a very technical mindset. However this is an interesting advice, I shall try it out. :)

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Response to Help! How to get insipration? Apr. 5th, 2013 @ 11:51 PM Reply

If I had to give one suggestion, it would be to listen to a genre/composer that you are unfamiliar with. Some suggestions:

Smooth Jazz
Early electronic music (~1950-80's)
Old cartoon scores (Carl Stalling)
Gamelan music
Rag Time (Joplin)

You can't force inspiration, but you can surround yourself with new sounds. I find that this will do the trick for me, as well as expand my knowledge of world music.

If that doesn't spark anything, why not go back and revisit some of your older tracks? Even if it doesn't draw inspiration (which it very way may), you'll still be working. The most important thing is to NOT STOP. Composing is like exercising a muscle -- if you take too much time off, you'll skills will start to fatigue and it'll be harder to get back into it. You may write every day for a month and come up with garbage, but as long as you're active, you are making progress. Not every piece is a masterpiece -- follow everything through as far as you can, and you'll become a better writer.


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Response to Help! How to get insipration? Apr. 5th, 2013 @ 11:59 PM Reply

At 4/3/13 06:44 PM, Elitistinen wrote: Recently I tried to write some catchy tunes. I usually stopped half way because of either I ran out of idea or worse, inspiration. The more tried to finish a project the more I screwed things up. To note, I have done composition as a side hobby, although I had previous musical training; I pretty much couldn't write anything formal.

Is there a way to gain inspiration in short or long time? And how?

Thanks a lot for your answer.

well for inspiration on your project, think of awesome things that have happen to you or just be creative. test out your song with other people and if they like it, add more or just stop there.

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Response to Help! How to get insipration? Apr. 6th, 2013 @ 01:48 AM Reply

DIdn't read a single response in this thread except for skimming some.

I've never read a single word about music theory because IMO that has NOTHING to do with inspiration. That has to do with song creation, but not at all with what inspires you.

What I do is I just stop. I stop working on music, I stop opening my program and I just live my life as usual. Randomly I'll hear a song or a sound or play something in my head that will make me say "hmmm."

I use that as inspiration. When you're not working on music and your brain starts making it for you, that's when you know you're inspired, and that's when it's time to start creating.

/drunk


At 3/27/11 10:22 PM, sugarsimon wrote:
the brilliant songs who create a production for music
Wat

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Response to Help! How to get insipration? Apr. 6th, 2013 @ 10:10 AM Reply

play some video games sheesh


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Response to Help! How to get insipration? Apr. 6th, 2013 @ 11:24 AM Reply

One of the most frustrating things as a musician is when you reach that "musical plateau" and you cannot think of nothing. You feel like you are not progressing, then one day you get over it and start making some good stuff again. Happened to me for awhile it was so annoying! But I got over it wrote some songs, and had fun. I found the problem I had was I want and said to myself, "I am gonna make the most awesome riff on the planet!" and that, that never works. Makes you worse really. I also was listening to the same stuff, change it up.

This came out and it changed my musical composition: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=39frVu8gijg

And that is just one song. Weather you like that kind of music, try to learn something incredibly hard. If your like me, you might not, however it will teach you a lot. And it makes you better, and if your better and if your better you can play any riff that flows through your head.

Well, that is my thoughts on musical composition, as for lyrics, I don't know. I am not a very good lyric writer, I write about things like the Hindenburg and various epic quests. XD

Not sure how you do it for lyrics, but I have tried all ways and it depends, write them before the song it made and write the song around it, write the song and write the lyrics around it, or write it as it goes with lyrics and riffs.

Having fun goofing around when playing is the best way though, like I said before don't tell yourself "I am gonna make something that ROCKS!"

~Zero


The game....

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Response to Help! How to get insipration? Apr. 7th, 2013 @ 11:16 PM Reply

DRUGS WOOOAAHHH

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Response to Help! How to get insipration? Apr. 11th, 2013 @ 11:34 PM Reply

At 4/5/13 02:11 PM, Elitistinen wrote:
At 4/4/13 02:56 AM, jarrydn wrote: try writing techno
I hope you really mean it (or does it contain humors?). Anyway, I shall see this as an advice and try it out.

i never joke about techno

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Response to Help! How to get insipration? Apr. 12th, 2013 @ 03:29 PM Reply

Daft Punk my friend. Lots of Daft Punk

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Response to Help! How to get insipration? Apr. 12th, 2013 @ 09:16 PM Reply

At 4/12/13 03:29 PM, Proctra wrote: Daft Punk my friend. Lots of Daft Punk

I don't want generic songs :/

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Response to Help! How to get insipration? Apr. 13th, 2013 @ 06:39 AM Reply

At 4/12/13 09:16 PM, Elitistinen wrote:
At 4/12/13 03:29 PM, Proctra wrote: Daft Punk my friend. Lots of Daft Punk
I don't want generic songs :/

Put your music on an mp3 player and listen to it on places where you are FAR away from your production area, that way I always sense my music on a very different way and I can come up with different ideas for that same track :).
Works everytime for me.

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Response to Help! How to get insipration? Apr. 13th, 2013 @ 09:00 AM Reply

I usualy listen to a lot of METAL and then I'm ready to compose some techno :D

KatMaestro
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Response to Help! How to get insipration? Apr. 13th, 2013 @ 12:14 PM Reply

At 4/7/13 11:16 PM, Psilenth wrote: DRUGS WOOOAAHHH

Does Adderal work?

At 4/13/13 06:39 AM, Carf wrote: Put your music on an mp3 player and listen to it on places where you are FAR away from your production area, that way I always sense my music on a very different way and I can come up with different ideas for that same track :).
Works everytime for me.

Good advices. Thanks

At 4/13/13 09:00 AM, Deshiel wrote: I usualy listen to a lot of METAL and then I'm ready to compose some techno :D

I listen to death metal a lot. Problem is I can get straight inspiration from them...

wandschrank
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Response to Help! How to get insipration? Apr. 13th, 2013 @ 12:31 PM Reply

At 4/13/13 12:14 PM, Elitistinen wrote:
At 4/7/13 11:16 PM, Psilenth wrote: DRUGS WOOOAAHHH
Does Adderal work?

It's not a very "creative" drug.. (I've heard). At least you will be productive. :p

When I feel uninspired, I usually just play around on my midi keyboard or piano or guitar or recorder or harmonica or bass or nose flute or cajon or metal bucket or kazoo until I find something that works. Preferably in the middle of the night, the neighbours love it.

TheUnknownTear
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Response to Help! How to get insipration? Apr. 16th, 2013 @ 04:11 PM Reply

At 4/3/13 06:44 PM, Elitistinen wrote: Recently I tried to write some catchy tunes. I usually stopped half way because of either I ran out of idea or worse, inspiration. The more tried to finish a project the more I screwed things up. To note, I have done composition as a side hobby, although I had previous musical training; I pretty much couldn't write anything formal.

Is there a way to gain inspiration in short or long time? And how?

Thanks a lot for your answer.

If you're doing lyrical, it usually just comes to you at the randomest times. That's how if works for me (I don't share my lyrical works, sorry) if you're doing instrumental/composition, follow these steps.
1. Get bored
2. Put random stuff together
3. Remove some stuff and make it all fit together!