How to find inspiration: Musician tips for writing songs

Being able to play your instrument is one thing, but finding the inspiration to write music is a whole new kettle of fish. Sometimes you need a little help to get your creative juices flowing.

As musicians we know there are plenty of times when you want to create and write music but as you sit at your instrument or pick up the pencil nothing comes. It can be hard to find inspiration at the best of times but sometimes you just need to give your mind and body the encouragement it needs. Here are our tips for finding that surge of creativity to help you get down your next masterpiece.

Clear Your Mind: Eliminate distractions

Having a clear head is vital to finding inspiration and coming up with ideas. Especially in the 21st century when we’re so bombarded with distractions, from phones and computers constantly harassing us with notifications. Put yourself in a place free of distraction.

Your surroundings will also affect your head space a large amount. If your room is messy it can affect your ability to think clearly as your surroundings have a direct impact on your inspiration – why do you think people love writing and playing in peaceful, natural spaces? Try clearing your head at a park or a beach.

Everyone finds peace and calm in their own way so go to your ‘happy place’. Put yourself in a place that makes you personally feel free of needless thoughts and worries. Focus entirely on the music.

Take Inspiration: Remember your influences

Most artists will worry about originality – of course you don’t want to copy an existing track and make it your own. But your style and ability are massively influenced by the music and players you love and have learnt from. Use those influences as inspiration.

If you’re feeling lost for what to play then listening back to artists who have inspired you can be a great way to re-invigorate your passion. Even playing pieces by your favourite artists on an instrument may reveal a melody hidden within that you can work from or provide the groundwork for you to move on from.

At the end of the day creating music is about making yourself happy and playing your passion. Don’t stress yourself on finding a chord sequence that no-one has ever played – it can’t be done. Just play, create, enjoy and see what happens.

Diversify: Experiment with sounds

Sometimes you need to go outside of your comfort zone to boost your creativity. If you’re working digitally finding new MIDI instruments and samples can provide a new approach that opens up new aural opportunities. If you’re playing instruments try an alternate tuning or picking up a different instrument to discover new possibilities.

A new sound can completely transform your approach, playing the same melody on a sine-wave bass synth sounds completely different to on an acoustic piano. It’s a simple way to find a different way of looking things.

Taking a different approach to music creating can also be a refreshing way of letting your creativity flow. If you traditionally write music on a piano, try using a DAW to make music digitally. If you’re a producer why not try using one song as the source for all of your samples.


These are just some of the ways we find inspiration when we have a creative block. What are your methods? Share them in the comments below and maybe you’ll help someone to get started on their next best song.

Head of Social Media and Marketing, RouteNote

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