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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-20-2003, 04:28 PM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Kansas
Posts: 1,502
I have no creativity...my playing is just cliche.

I just can't write anything anymore. Not a single thing without it sounding like some other lick I know. I tried going through Vai's Martian Love Secrets really hard, but it just doesn't help. When I try to play a chord that brings out an emotion, I play a chord that I've heard before that brings out that emotion. Any time I try to write a song and I think I have something original, I'll hear where I've stolen it from a day, a week, or even a month later. I may hear a song on the radio, just on the street that I absolutely pay no attention to and more or less forget it, but when I try to sit down and write something, parts of these songs I just totally forget about come back to me, and I can't break out of their patterns. As soon as I play a chord and it sounds good to me, it's from another song, and when I think it is something original when in fact it's not, I structure all the other chords around the song, and it ends up sounding cliche. I just can't do anything *original* anymore no matter what I do. I learn new scales, new chords, but that's all they are...scales and chords. I just can't be original like I used to be. Any help?

I know this is kind of hard to understand, but it's a weird problem. I just can't break free of stuff I've heard before no matter what I do!
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-20-2003, 05:49 PM
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Leeds, UK
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take a bit of time out to get to grips with another instrument, get to be able to play on that and come back to the guitar. Or if ya cant afford that way, ignore guitar music for a while (i know i couldnt do that itd kill me!), or try and listen to a style you wouldnt usually listen to.

Then come back to your home turf and see if ya notice the diff
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-20-2003, 06:22 PM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Kansas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vai n maiden
take a bit of time out to get to grips with another instrument, get to be able to play on that and come back to the guitar. Or if ya cant afford that way, ignore guitar music for a while (i know i couldnt do that itd kill me!), or try and listen to a style you wouldnt usually listen to.

Then come back to your home turf and see if ya notice the diff
I tried listening to other music. In fact, last night I spent about 2 hours just driving around listening to public radio. They played classical and some folk and enya and stuff.

And I just played enya licks on a distorted guitar.
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-20-2003, 08:57 PM
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Trondheim, Norway
Posts: 3,614
A few things I do, when I'm bored... I limit my choices of notes to play. When playing/composing a tune in E major, only play on the 9th and 12th fret. Or 13th and 15th, then prebend like crazy... Maybe just the A and B strings. The whole idea is to exclude as many options as it takes for you to come up with something new. Another thing I like to do is to only play notes that are off key. Great when jamming to simple blues tracks.

Euph
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-20-2003, 09:21 PM
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Oxford, UK
Posts: 1,514
one thing i do when i find Im plagerising is to employ some more unusual methods of composition

eg chance music ... roll a dice or get someone to pick a few numbers between between 1 and 12. assign note length and pitch enitrely at random. Most will sound crap but out of a 30 note phrase you might find 8 or so notes that make a melody that you like.

serial music ... self explanatory.

learn somthing backwards. Intervals... runs .... leaps can create equally beautiful melodies in reverse. again just take the bits you like.

if you have the equipment, sampling is a good way to innovate... sample anything and everything you never know how 0.8 of a second of somthing will sound looped until you do it.

there are others too.... but i dont wanna give away all my secrets
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-21-2003, 12:56 AM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Kansas
Posts: 1,502
Quote:
Originally Posted by Devo
one thing i do when i find Im plagerising is to employ some more unusual methods of composition

eg chance music ... roll a dice or get someone to pick a few numbers between between 1 and 12. assign note length and pitch enitrely at random. Most will sound crap but out of a 30 note phrase you might find 8 or so notes that make a melody that you like.

serial music ... self explanatory.

learn somthing backwards. Intervals... runs .... leaps can create equally beautiful melodies in reverse. again just take the bits you like.

if you have the equipment, sampling is a good way to innovate... sample anything and everything you never know how 0.8 of a second of somthing will sound looped until you do it.

there are others too.... but i dont wanna give away all my secrets
Yeah, I've tried writing stuff mathmatically...but that's all they are -- mathematical compositions. They aren't coming from *me*. I hate this.
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-21-2003, 06:50 AM
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: London, England
Posts: 796
play around on a piano for an hour or so, something always comes out for me
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-21-2003, 07:35 AM
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Oxford, UK
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JEMavenger
Quote:
Originally Posted by Devo
one thing i do when i find Im plagerising is to employ some more unusual methods of composition

eg chance music ... roll a dice or get someone to pick a few numbers between between 1 and 12. assign note length and pitch enitrely at random. Most will sound crap but out of a 30 note phrase you might find 8 or so notes that make a melody that you like.

serial music ... self explanatory.

learn somthing backwards. Intervals... runs .... leaps can create equally beautiful melodies in reverse. again just take the bits you like.

if you have the equipment, sampling is a good way to innovate... sample anything and everything you never know how 0.8 of a second of somthing will sound looped until you do it.

there are others too.... but i dont wanna give away all my secrets
Yeah, I've tried writing stuff mathmatically...but that's all they are -- mathematical compositions. They aren't coming from *me*. I hate this.
no matter what way YOU write it, it still comes from YOU!!

every way you approach music it is maths whether your aware of it or not.

Its divisions of time to create rhythms .... or its relations of fundamentals and overtones to create chords and melodies.

If your aware its maths it doesnt make it any less musical. the counter argument is equally as absurd as saying that if you understand the words your using its not poetry.

Unless you want to argue that every composer since the baroque era wasnt a true composer. all of them have had a true awareness of relationships of times and tones to each other. Thats pure maths.

Just remember that the majority of people today dont understand the musical language in which they are writing.

another technique you could use is to do like villa lobos and use geometrical patterns on the fretboard. diagonal lines, squares, triangles, large X's etc. (and dont even dare say villa lobos wasnt an emotive or creative composer)

Steve
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-21-2003, 09:00 AM
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: London, England
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villa lobos wasnt an emotive or creative composer of cakes
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-21-2003, 10:02 AM
 
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Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 1,244
I always play better when I'm high. NO, honestly, I've had your problem many times but it never happened to me while I was stoned. It really makes me become a more spiritualized person and everything I play automatically gets better. It's not something I do very often but I still think it's a great inspirational source. Can't say the same thing about getting drunk, though...
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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-21-2003, 01:04 PM
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Canada
Posts: 4,215
Try alternate tunings or using a capo. Strange new chord voicings will come out.

Try writing a song with lyrics and vocals in mind.
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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-21-2003, 04:30 PM
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Toronto, Canada
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I agree with darren.

Or you can just set the guitar down for a month and come back to it....a fresh start will do wonders.
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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-22-2003, 01:58 PM
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Scotland
Posts: 163
Try looking at the lydian and mixolydian
They are pretty wild and good to get something going
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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-22-2003, 04:52 PM
 
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i cant really get into the mixolydian but the lydian is a BEAST
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