EDM Songwriting Ideas: 15 Tips On How To Cure Writer’s Block

For any producer or musician, having no ideas can be the worst. Equally as bad is having ideas that don’t get you excited. This can drag on for hours, days, weeks or even months, and we all know that it sucks. When you’re new to making music, you often won’t hit this writer’s block as much as someone who’s been doing it for years. The reason is that you’re trying to learn a ton of new techniques and you are totally amazed at your ability to create sound. As we gain experience, the number of new ideas and techniques dries up to some degree and we hit the writer’s block wall more often.

Here are a few different ways we can overcome this problem and get things moving forward again:

Songwriting Ideas: How To Cure Writer’s Block

  1. Force yourself to keep on pushing musical ideas out, until things start flowing again.
  2. Grab loops from earlier projects to work with.
  3. Tap out a rhythm on your table, and record it into your DAW with a mic or onto a portable recorder (maybe your cell phone has one). Next, draw out that rhythm in your DAW on a piano roll, assign a soft synth to that track and move some of the notes. Try using just 3 or 4 notes and you’ll have a melody to start working with.
  4. Remix a friend’s song
  5. Make a DAW template so you’re ready to go quicker and spend less time loading up effect chains, synths etc.
  6. Start a new song every day for a week, then at the end listen to them all and work with your favorite one. You can throw ideas from others into the main one as well.
  7. Focus on working quickly so you have some musical content to work with and improve.
  8. Change your workflow – if you always start new songs with drums, break the habit and try starting with something else.
  9. New gear – borrow a friend’s hardware synth or rent one from a music store. You could also do a gear swap through Craigslist or somewhere else.

10. Experiment by humming into a recorder for 20 minutes and see what you come up with.

11. Learn an instrument – many of us EDM producers can’t and knowing how to play one as well as some music theory can often help us improve.

12. Create crazy combinations of processing chains in your DAW, using plugins you wouldn’t normally use.

13. Save your crappy old songs and samples to a DVDr or external hard drive then delete them from your computer. Clearing up your main hard drive will often help you feel like you’ve cleared your mind.

14. Focus on having fun with your equipment, not on writing songs. Play with all the presets on your synth, make a goofy melody or rhythm etc.

15. Don’t force it – take a break. Live more, and get other things done that matter in your life. This recovery period after having spent endless weeks concentrating intensely on our music can be just what we need to improve.