Useful Tips

How to find inspiration for songwriting

A musician, DJ and owner of two online labels, who managed to prove himself numerous releases on the European breaks and dubstep scene, Alexander Mars shares with us information on where to find inspiration.


Pictured is CJ John PM looking for inspiration :)

Often, during various interviews, they asked me the question: "How are you inspired to write music?" Answering it, I used to come up with various stories about magnificent landscapes, unrequited love, true friendship. Of course, the adrenaline rush and emotions are bearing fruit, but for me, in fact, inspiration grows somewhat differently.

Often, when I came to the studio, I sat down at the table and had no idea what kind of sound or what harmony would be born in the next second.

I think many people know how annoying it is when you spend several hours in the studio and as a result, nothing happens. With anger, we are three projects and break the grudge against ourselves. I used to explain this by saying that today is simply not my day. I can’t say that I found a panacea or an ideal recipe for writing a hit in one sitting. But I realized where my inspiration comes from. Oddly enough, I am inspired by the music itself. And for myself, I highlighted several basic steps.

1. Clear your thoughts

I used to come to my studio with some imaginary problems, constant thoughts about something. And, of course, it always bothered me. Now, before coming to the studio, I prefer to walk a bit and just try to ignore the disturbing thoughts. Fortunately, my studio is located near the port. The great thing is to sit a bit on the pier. After that, having come to the studio, I feel at least ready for work.

2. To study constantly

Even now, having quite extensive knowledge of sound production, I continue to read and watch various videos. First, learning is never too late. And, secondly, it is very important that when I practice any techniques, new thoughts and ideas come to me. For example, I start to watch some video manual on creating sound in the Massive synthesizer and in the process of repeating the actions of the author of the manual I press some sequence of keys and the idea of ​​a new track is born in my head.

3. Joint projects

It is always easier to remix than to write your own track. Because when doing a remix, you are already refining someone else’s composition. So in joint work. If you have a friend musician, try to make a joint project with him. This works especially productively when one of you starts to do something, and you quickly pick up the idea and continue to develop it. In collaborations (joint projects), separation of duties is important. Decide which of you makes the rhythm of the section better, who produces more interesting and lively tunes, who of you makes better mixing and so on. You will see that the productivity of your activity will increase significantly!

4. Listen to a lot of music

It happens that you come to the studio, you turn the pens, and after 2 hours you realize that you spent time in vain. At this moment I prefer to stop, make coffee, turn on some positive music. Anger at myself disappears and I'm trying to take a break. And listening to this or that song, I hear an interesting passage and inspiration for a new track appears.

5. Learn synthesizers

When I have no inspiration, I still force myself to go to the studio and twist the knobs of the synthesizers. When there are no ideas at all, I discover a new synthesizer for myself and try to get something interesting with it. As a result, I not only learn something new, but also get new interesting sounds. I keep these sounds and presets for later use. And, as a rule, in the process of "winding up" the pens, I am inspired to new tracks.

6. Emotions

No one, of course, canceled the inspiration from new emotions. In my case, touring to new cities and countries helps me. Every creative person has a crisis, and I once suffered a similar fate. I could not write anything interesting for 1 month (!). As a result, a tour to Spain saved me. A glass of beer at the bar on Sq. Catalunya in Barcelona healed me :) As an option, a trip to another city / country for the weekend!

For men, new experiences in dealing with the female gender are also important,)

7. Experiment

Just the other day it saved me. For a whole week I struggled over the development of a 30-second chunk and nothing crossed my mind. I'm working on a track for a new PLAYMA project. Here I wanted to write a dubstep composition. As a result, changing the tempo from dubstep to drum’n’bass helped me. I heard my groove in a completely new sound. It inspired me for another hit! I can advise you sometimes to try to write tracks that are different in sound or style. You will see how much your view of music will change (for the better), and as a result it will help you work more productively!

Personally, I'm inspired by music to music! Everything else is only 30% of inspiration (if it can be measured in percent). I think each of you can have your own ways to tame the muse. In this article, I have described only the basic methods from personal experience.

By the way, Alexander is the creator of the XSSR Music Academy, where he teaches the creation of electronic music.