Submitted by thewhippinpost on Tue, 16/01/2007 - 23:14.

Sometimes our songs are built in the head before touching anything - Other times they evolve as we go along. Then, there are times when evolution just grinds to a halt part-way through a new tune, rendering what started out as a good idea, into another extinct song.

Just WTF are you supposed to do?!

Here's a little technique I sometimes use when the creative juices suddenly stop flowing, right bang-slap in the middle of a song.

Songs Within Songs

So we're aassuming we already have part of our tune down, but just don't know where to go with it. Instead of sucking the 'ole brain cells dry, let's just try turning what we've already got, inside-out... so to speak.

Pay attention.

Anywhere - and I stress, anywhere - within your song, set the locators to preferably 2, or 1 beats(s) apart (though you can use 4 if ya want).

Showing the song locators set at 2 beats apart  Showing the locators position as seen on the transport bar (in Cubase)

The pictures show Cubase but any sequencer can be used for this trick.

Hit play (obviously!)

If you're not happy, just nudge the locators one (or two) beat(s) to the right.

The locators nudged one beat-on from the last  The transport bar showing the locators position

Just jump in at any random spot within your song and gradually work your way up (or down) the track and listen. Experiment further by increasing (or decreasing) the gap between the locators - I've never yet reached the end before several ideas have jumped out.

Once you've found something inspiring just split and copy the loop, then paste at the point your mojo ran out and be on your way again.

It is often very surprising what you can find "hidden" within your own creation... and it's not cheating 'cos you wrote the song anyway (presumably!).