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Beating The Beat Block

April 10, 2017

Beating The Beat Block

There is no way to tap into "pure inspiration" every single day. At least, not from a commercial standpoint. When most pieces of music you write need to satisfy someone outside of yourself, you need a method or technique to circumvent the lack of creative spark. I developed this method while I was still working nine to five as a web designer. I call it the "experimental painter's way".

As soon as you open your DAW, put together a totally random palette of sounds. Try to pick instruments with complementary textures, colors and frequencies, but steer clear of a defined plan (for now). At this point, we are simply opening pathways to unforeseen "magical mistakes". You see, music's most memorable sounds, songs and performances often stem from mistakes. Wrong notes. Unmuted sounds. We want to make room for unorthodox approaches.

Once your palette is loaded up, start a loop or two. Think simple percussion tracks or ostinatos (simple repetitive melodic patterns). Do not fall into the trap of full drum tracks. If inspiration does not unfold quick enough, your ear stamina will be gone before you even had a chance to find something interesting.

Pile up sounds. As fast as possible. Throw any color on the canvas, as fast as possible. Dive into the music instead of looking at it from a distance. Once you have a few chords and a few melodies, strip it all down. Keep the only track that has a special something and start the process all over again.

Blocking the beat block is about letting your brain find patterns in a seemingly chaotic mix of sounds.


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