3 Tips to Overcome Writer’s Block

Writer's Block

Tip 1: Restrict Yourself

Tip 2: Change Things Up

  • Tempo — try faster or slower.
  • Key — if you write a lot of tracks in a minor key, try a major key, for example.
  • Time Signature — 4/4 isn’t your only option! ?
  • Instrumentation — Do you normally write for orchestra? Try something that’s entirely electronic.
  • Genre — Try Hip-Hop instead of classical.
  • Compose on paper instead of at the keyboard — old school!

Tip 3: Map Out a Reference Track

  • Tempo
  • Key
  • Arrangement
  • Instrumentation ideas

BONUS TIP: The 30 Seconds of Silence Trick

  1. Create a loop (a cycle in most DAWs) that starts from the beginning of the last section that you’ve composed, and extends about 30 seconds beyond the end of it. This will create a loop that plays your track, then is silent for 30 seconds, before repeating your music.
  2. Start the loop playing.
  3. Turn off the lights in your studio (or at least dim them significantly). This encourages your brain to rely more on senses other than your eyes — in this case, our ears.
  4. Lay down. Yes, even if this means laying on the floor! Trust me, this is significantly more effective if you’re laying down and totally relaxed than if you’re seated and alert.
  5. Let the music wash over you and allow your mind to wander (musically) during the silence.



Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
John Landells

John Landells

Musician/Composer/Producer, RYA Powerboat Instructor, IT Professional at SnapLogic, Christian and Husband