How to be musically creative

Published: 13th February 2009
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Creativity some may say just happens. It would seem that way. One day I spend a lot of time trying to come up with something and nothing good comes out. Other days I can pick up a guitar for two seconds and volia, a diamond in the rough. The fact that creativity can be so random is something that has

always interested me. Over the years i've noticed that creating a song can be fairly quick and easy or an uphill slog so ive come to rely on a set of good practises to be as creative as possible.

I think the most important thing to realise is that you cant control creativity but you can guide it a little. Here's what works for me.

Pick up your instrument as much as possible. Even if it's just for five minutes. The amount of times ive picked up a guitar on my way out of the house only to come up with something

that i really love. Ive been left thinking, if I hadn't picked up that guitar that riff or song woudn't exist. I think of it as checking in with my guitar to see if it has anything new for me.

Once you have an interesting piece of music record it. It Doesn't matter how crude the recording is. As long as you can clearly hear whats going on. It's easy enough to remember what chords I was using at the time but the particular rythym that was used can make the difference between a great riff and a so so one.

Recording is also essesntial so you can play it back the next day to see if you still like it.

Which brings me to my next point. Don't be precious of your piece of music at this stage. Discard as much as you write.

Very often I will listen to a riff the next day and have no idea why I liked it in the first place. Dont be afraid to say something you wrote sucks. Its only by being selective of what you write that you can keep creating better and better music

Heres what Keith Richards has to say about song writing.

"The Stones' songs came spontaneously like an inspiration at a séance. The tunes arrived 'en masse' as if the Stones as songwriters were only a willing and open medium"

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