How To Avoid Creative Ruts In Your Songwriting

[caption id="attachment_216286" align="aligncenter" width="1415"] Don't Look Back: Bob Dylan has a method for avoiding the same old songwriting routines.[/caption] Bob Dylan is explaining the importance of avoiding familiar habits when composing music. “There are ways you can get out of whatever you get into,” he said. “You want to get out of it. It’s bad enough getting into it. The thing to do as soon as you get into it is realize you must get out of it. And unless you get out of it quickly and effortlessly, it will just drag you down. You could spend years writing the same song.” Among songwriting challenges, it’s one of the most frequent and formidable ones: how to overcome the natural tendency to repeat the same habits. Yet all musicians, after playing our instruments for years, fall into comfortable patterns based on music we have learned and written, and collect a toolbox of chord progressions, cadences and other musical elements over the years. Yet we don’t want to write the same song — or same melody — over and over. As editor Caine O’Rear said, “You need to get out of the same old rut, so as to form new neural pathways.”…

To view this content,

Join Today

or Sign In

The Benefits of Membership:

  • Subscription to the American Songwriter Print Magazine
  • Access to all Feature Magazine Content Online
  • Access to Print Edition Archives
  • Premium content in our Songwriter U section
  • Discounts on vinyl, Songwriter services, and other American Songwriter Partners
  • Exclusive access to members-only contests and giveaways
Click to Join

We've started an American Songwriter membership! Click here to learn more.