Overcoming Writer’s Block For Musicians

Effective Techniques to Help Alleviate The Process of Overcoming Writer's Block. Click To Tweet

Everyone knows the struggle of overcoming writer’s block, or in our case, producers block. It is the most soul-crushing, frustrating experience to go through. Especially during times when your head is filled with all these musical ideas that you so badly want to convert into a reality using your favorite DAW. To combat this, creative writing ideas for music producers could help with the process of overcoming writer’s block quite effectively.

overcoming writer's block

For example, often times I’ll have a melody in my head, and wherever I am- I’ll hum the melody in my phone using a sound recording app- in hopes of laying down the midi to match the melody inside of the software at a later time. But, once I open the software and I start inputting midi notes, the process kind of stops there. No matter how hard I try, there have been times when I’ll mess around in the piano roll for 5 or more hours, or sift through tens if not hundreds of samples creating a drum loop, and feel like I’ve had little to no progression. And this is the struggle of producers block. We must find out a way to overcoming writer’s block.


overcoming writer's block

Chymera”, one of my favorite music producers in Electronic Music explained in an interview with “Berlinlovesyou” blog stating,

“My work ethic is very good. I make music every day, just 99% of it is rubbish. Even though it sounds good on the day, when I listen to it the next day, or sometimes the next week or month, I realize that it’s crap and I trash it. I’ve probably got too high of a quality assurance scheme for my own good.”


overcoming writer's block
EVERY music producer has suffered from this….and I mean EVERY…..music….producer…

Now the reason why I shared this is because no matter how productive you are in the music creation process, this is proof that it can be a very tedious experience. In my own experience, after about a week of mapping out various musical ideas, I’ll end off with tens of project files that have yet to be finished. And out of all those project files, maybe one or two will have the potential to become actual releases upon carefully selecting the melodies and grooves that work. Remember the famous saying, “quality over quantity?” This rule perfectly applies to the art of Electronic Music creation. As music producers, our best work always comes forth through the focus and aim on quality. Honestly, I think that’s just music in general, no matter what genre. Yes, coming up with many musical sketches helps build an arsenal of ideas. Which you can then deduce down to the best projects. But the quality is always greatly reflected from the track that you invest the most time, energy and dedication into the sample selection, sound design, arrangement, and mix-down. And thus the cycle continues as you produce more music.


One of the best and most effective techniques for overcoming writer’s block in my opinion; is a technique that I came across in a book recommended to me by a friend titled,  “Making Music Creative Strategies for Electronic Music Producers” by Dennis DeSantis.

overcoming writer's block


In the book, Dennis DeSantis outlines all of the content using a “problem and solution” concept in a very intuitive way for all music producers. This is hands down, my #1 recommended book for ANY music producer of ANY genre to overcoming writer’s block. It makes you feel like a musical genius upon reading it, and I found it to be the perfect “reference” tool to fall back on as a music producer whenever I am in need of assistance. With that being said, there’s a section in the book titled, “SIMPLE SOUNDS” that reads as followed:

overcoming writer's block


You have a melodic, harmonic, or rhythmic idea in your head. But when you sit down at your DAW to try to capture it, you usually begin by trying to find or create the right sounds to match the idea. And somewhere along the way, the idea itself gets lost.”


“Instead of starting by trying to find the perfect sounds, try starting with the simplest sounds you can find. General MIDI or other “generic” presets are good for this exercise.”

Now upon reading this, if this advice doesn’t already feel like a breath of fresh air to you, I don’t know what will. Never did I once discover the benefit of creating melodies using only midi sounds or generic presets. When you really think about it, using prerecorded presets can often complicate the simplicity of bringing those melodies to life. Instead, it makes more sense to create the melodies we have in our heads using the most generic sounds possible. THEN, once the melody is crafted and perfected in our DAW, we can then dive into the actual sound design process to mesh together all the elements. This can be one effective way to overcome writer’s block indeed.

overcoming writer's block

This kind of goes back to the humming that I had mentioned earlier. Whenever a melody pops up in my head, I’ll hum the tune in my phone. Which again, is a generic sound coming from my own mouth using no presets. After I have that idea, I can go into the DAW and spend the right time needed to find the right sound for the melody. I know it sounds a bit silly, but just try it and you may find that this could be a brilliant approach to incorporate in your music making process and to help prevent or at least reduce the pushback of writer’s block altogether.

And last but not least just to reiterate, once again #1 the book that I highly recommend for all music producers titled, “Making Music Creative Strategies for Electronic Music Producers” by Dennis DeSantis is actually on sale for $9.99 on Amazon as an E-book Kindle version.


overcoming writer's block
A MUST have. Don’t pass this up!

So for those of you who own a Kindle, you can access this book at any time upon buying and for those of you who don’t have a kindle, you can simply download the Kindle app on any mobile device and read it that way.  This book is guaranteed to help to generate creativity and improve workflow immensely, and it’s great for ALL music producers no matter what genre. And for those of you who still aren’t able to purchase a copy of this book, do not fret because I myself own the book and I’ll be sharing a lot of the most useful content I find in the book here on my YouTube Channel and here on my blog as well. So that way you won’t feel like you’re missing out!


overcoming writer's block

So anyway, I hope you all found this article very helpful. Hopefully, at this point, you have found more beneficial ways to overcoming writer’s block. Many more tips and techniques to come, as well as music and artist reviews so stay tuned! Thank you for watching! Keep on producing! 


-Brandon Peoples
Techno Addicts


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