Songwriters have problems when they see the hard work of making music as something that is totally dependent on inspiration. Serious songwriters and producers who make music as a career cannot afford to wait for inspiration to come, nor can they. The truth is that great music requires work, sacrifice and an uncompromising willingness to try and fail again and again. If you are tired of waiting for inspiration to make music, here are three exercises that will help you boost your music production:
1. Write one Song a week for a month
In order for some songwriters to advance and complete their projects, they must be forced. A good way to make sure you finish what you’re starting is to commit to finishing one Song a week for a month. When I finish a song, I don’t mean to add all the extra instrumentation, production and mastery of bells and whistles to an idea, but to focus on making simple Demos of fully formed Songs. The idea is to force them to end ideas. Come up with a set of ideas that you never bother to finish can be crippling because it is an act that is often rooted in the fear that we are not able to do anything good. By forcing yourself to finish four Songs in a month, you are not afraid of failure.
2. You can experiment with cover versions of creative Songs
If you feel desperately stuck in your Songwriting efforts, it’s a great way to reset another artist’s work and renew your musical perspective. Learning another artist’s song is not only instructive, but also provides an opportunity for musicians to interpret someone’s work through their own creative lens. The more personal and creative you can get with a blanket, the better. Yes, it’s someone else’s song, but the best cover versions are the ones that give a piece of music a completely new identity and energy. To get the most out of this exercise, you need the instrumentation and production elements that you can use with your own music. This means that covering a song with an acoustic guitar won’t do you much musical good unless you’re an acoustic artist.
3. Set realistic deadlines and goals
If you have vague plans and a desire to write more music, try to turn them into concrete and achievable goals and deadlines. Just wanting to release an album this year is not the same as committing to release an album by November 1, 2019. We don’t like to think of music as we would in conventional work, but without strict goals and deadlines it is difficult to move things forward and get things done. Little sexy things like setting and adhering to a daily Songwriting schedule can help make your nebulous plans to make music a definable advance.
When making music is exhausting and ungrateful, it’s good to remember that true inspiration doesn’t come often for most musicians. Exercises like this are designed to put you in the right place at the right time when a good idea hits.