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  • Marky Young

    Really great ideas, I’m just starting to get over my block. But if I would have read this sooner I probably could of avoided the block.

  • calgarc

    Awesome article. I personally write everything on my guitar. This way I can mess with chord structure.

    I also have a folder in my sample library called project ideas. This is where I keep all my ideas good or bad 🙂 lol sometimes I have 25 versions of a lead before I find the right one

  • Guest

    All those are great points to overcome writer’s block, Really i enjoyed reading your weblog. Thank you Eric.

  • joey

    amazing article. I searched everywhere online desparate for answers. This told me exactly what i needed to hear. thank you

  • I usually like to write down ideas as I get them…so hopefully I don’t get block.

  • Troy Monroe

    Sometime I feel the best thing to do it to take advantage of the time to learn a little more about how to use your software or gear. Just goof off with all those fancy buttons and knobs and end up with some awesome new sounds. I also like to hop on YouTube and run through a few videos which usualy inspire me.

  • vj

    such a nice article…cheers :))

  • Anonymous

    funny i was working on a song and was having a bit of trouble, then i see this on DJTT 😀

  • Anonymous

    funny i was working on a song and was having a bit of trouble, then i see this on DJTT 😀

  • #7 “do nothing” is kiiiind of related to my favorite fall back, which is to distract yourself. i can’t tell you how many times i’ve gotten so frustrated with a track that i was about to toss the computer out the window, so i started deep cleaning my bathroom and voila! the perfect hook just popped into my head. sometimes, the subconsious writes the best music, and you can only tune into that when you’re doing something completely unrelated.

  • LoserKidJacob

    This article is very inspiring.
    I liked it 🙂

  • Ecoleopard

    Im new to producing, and my problem isnt running dry of ideas, its simply that im interested in a lot of crazy things, and i just dont have time for it all. I cant just get on my studio, fix something, and get off. When i get on, i have lots of ideas and i get exited about something so im glued to it for hours. And when i do other things, it takes me like a month to do something with a project that shouldve taken me a week. I feel like i cant gain any experience as a producer if i want to have even the least bit of a life.

    • It gets easier, you just need to stick with it. It might seem like a lot of time now, but with practice you’ll get faster at doing things. 🙂

  • Best DJTT article in a long time. Solid advice here.

  • I actually found a guy called “Mike Monday” he just closed his course called “Start Now Finish Fast”.

    It’s the same concept: finish music fast, then you will go through the creative processes of writing a track over and over, and ultimately become better at writing a whole tune that sounds decent, than e.g. a bassline that is really good but nothing else.

    • I’ve heard good things about Mike’s courses, sounds like we have similar messages 🙂

  • You forgot one thing: The really smart guys among us use their times of low (musical) inspiration to write articles about what to do in times of low inspiration.

  • SkyCaptain

    YES I LOVE THESE PRODUCER FOCUSED ARTICLES! keep em coming! these are SUPER helpful!!! I started producing before i got into DJing, and found that producing and DJing really go hand in hand. SO SO SO HELPFUL!

  • RomaK

    Great article Eric!

  • Anonymous

    8. Simply write a brilliant article about writers block!

  • Tim Nice

    Thanks for sharing… really nice article 🙂

  • Great read!

  • D dub T4RE

    A great insight!! I work a lot and use those distractions as excuses for my creativity blocks, its amazing how ideas in the most unlikely places can jump up and hit you in the face yet when you go to lay them down its gone. I totally agree with you, in music you always think fresh and sometimes even when you don’t want to, turn left instead of right.

  • Forevernow

    A good tip I’ve been following recently is to compose every part with a basic piano patch bassline, chords, melody etc etc , then when every thing sits nicely together start sound design on each part to your taste.

    There something’s very natural about composing this way.. Give it a try.

    • Interesting idea, thanks for sharing that one!

    • This can be VERY helpful. It’s interesting that not many people write music like this anymore — it used to be one of the only ways to do it! However, for electronic music, sometimes a piano doesn’t paint the right picture. Experiment with different sounds. I’m most creative when try this technique with a Rhodes or Wurlitzer, or sometimes even a really basic sounding synth (like a triangle wave).

    • I agree 100%. I have a nice little patch on one of my synths that sounds just like it’s coming from a SNES….when I’m getting ideas down I usually write every part using ONLY that patch. Leads, bass, even ghetto drums, only in that patch. Once I have something down that sounds acceptable, I start designing the sounds. Helluva way to work if I do say so myself

    • calgarc

      I do the same except on guitar 🙂 this way I don’t even need to turn my computer on lol

  • Anonymous

    Collaborate…. No. Just kidding, but I don’t do it because I find it the hardest thing to do. People want to add ideas that are way far out from what I am doing and the two just never mix. I work alone.

    • I hear you, I’m more or less the same way most of the time. I prefer working alone and being able to do my own thing, but it’s nice now and then to meet up and just jam with someone too.

    • Collaborating can be difficult, especially in person. Have you heard of http://www.blend.io? It’s still in beta, but looks very promising!

  • Genjutsushi

    Ace Tarekith. Take time to check his tutorials on his blog too. Ive found them really useful

    • Thanks! I stopped doing the articles to focus on more regular posts to the blog, so most of my more recent tips and such will be there, and not in the articles.

  • great article thanks

  • King of Snake

    “Start fresh, take the time to build your sample library from scratch, work on building new synth or effects presets, reinvent your ‘sound’ and restock your library with fresh new sounds you haven’t been passing over again and again for the last few years”

    Gonna do this right here, right now!
    Great advise

  • I find it strange that this article doesn’t mention one of the most important tools for avoiding writer’s block as a music producer: listening to new music, especially music outside of the genre[s] you work in. Listen to music you’d never normally listen to, analyze it, try to find out what makes a given genre artistically effective, maybe you can incorporate it with your music and breathe new life into your productions

    Too many producers just focus on the technology, and forget that they work in one of the oldest forms of artistic expression. Over forty thousand years of human history and all they can think of to look for inspiration is a new vst. When it comes to having fresh and inspiring productions, knowing music is just as important as knowing the tech.

    • I had a whole section in the article talking about that actually, section 5. 🙂

      • I see. Doing research into different forms of music is a different process than collaborating with other artists, and really deserves it’s own section.

        Whether or not you ever work with other artists and even if you don’t have writer’s block a producer of music should always be game to look up new music. Knowing your artform is an incredible important part of staying creative.

        On that note, I know “theory” is generally a bad word in the electronic dance music scene, but learning some can be valuable in the songwriting process. Sure, you can just focus on sound design and bang away on one key, plenty of producers build careers that way. However, If you want to make tracks with killer melodic hooks and more harmonic depth faster, music theory is a good tool that too many producers reject out of hand.

  • Wow. This article caught my eye and I feel a bit better now about my inability to find focus and be able to finish something I feel is valuable. The part about “losing interest quickly” really spoke to me. I seem to make a great 4 bars (If I’m lucky) and then completely lose all motivation to move forward. Maybe its hearing the same samples over and over again.

    Some days I can say “Im going to produce something good today”, then I spend 5 hours and make nothing. But on a completely random morning when I woke up early on accident and slice up a song without thinking, I get something truly special that speaks to what I want to create… Too bad I never finish it though.

    I also like the part about deleting your saves. I have piles of unfinished projects and always think I will get back to them…yeah, right. Or worse, when I do go back to the same samples over and over again, I only seem to find the problems that originally frustrated me.

    The brain is like a muscle, and if I was able to improve greatly at snowboarding suddenly after not doing it for 2 years, then perhaps I just need time to let the abilities sink in for production. I can move about between my hardware and software, but something is missing in between.

    I’m starting to feel that I am slowly getting more motivated towards actually finishing a large project rather than making lots of tiny insignificant ones, no matter how interesting parts of them are. This article was a big help.

    Cheers for this, I needed it.

    • jeebs

      liked that

    • Rob Burns

      Deadlines do help a lot too. Sometimes a little outside pressure gives you the “permission” to just keep going and accept certain artist imperfections

      • Rob Burns

        Also buy Ill.Gates methodology seminar. By far the best 50 bucks you will ever spend for production insight. He talks about the need to finish projects quickly even if they aren’t good at first and it works. When I first started I would try to write three complete tracks a week and they were totally shite but I finished them. Now I’m getting decent and have a much more intuitive workflow which is important to connect with the right brain.

  • Great article! Writers block does happen all the time to people working in every field, for sure. I have always been thankful to my teachers who have pointed out in various ways that writers block is a natural eb and flow of a lifetime of creative work. Even Brahms said that sometimes a day composing felt as if he was guided by God and sometimes it felt like hammering the soles on shoes, and that both kinds of work were invaluable and part of living a creative life. Arnold Schoenberg, John Cage’s composition teacher, said the same thing and went on to say that he wasn’t sure that the days he felt divinely inspired necessarily generated better work than the days he showed up at his desk or piano and just grinded it out. Those were some geniuses by any standard and by their testimony I think we can safely say that it is natural to have hard days composing but those days need not be feared too much, as they are natural.

  • Didn’t I suggest this on Twitter when you were asking for articles? V.Happy, will give it a read once I’m out of work 😉

    • Screw it… I might just read it now

    • Dan White

      Actually, our forum mods suggested we get Tarekith on the blog – but if you recommended as well, thanks!

  • Theo Void

    Tarekith!!! You get around bro!!! Good one, I knew I’d read this before!

  • Thanks everyone, glad you liked the article!

    • dave ak1200

      hey man, been struggling with this for a long time, and will try anything at this point. thanks for this.

    • thank you. I thought I was alone on this one….but you covered every though I have already had…..thank you again.

  • neotechtonics

    big ups to Tarekith on ALL of his fantastic tutorials and articles.

  • Great article. Writers block can happen to even the best in the business. Having the knowledge of how to resolve it can help. Bookmarking this page 🙂

  • Korji

    Great tips! I have been having this sort of thing happen to me recently and I am glad that I have read this article. It makes me feel less… lonely.