Tech Tip:Breaking the Writer's Block

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The following tips for aspiring guitarists are courtesy of John McCarthy of The Rock House Method, publisher of video lessons for musicians at every skill level.


Brian Rhymes; Austin, TX



Q: Well, I've reached a block; everything that I seem to play sounds the same. How can I keep what I play fresh? Thanks for your help!


A: One of the biggest challenges that a musician has is keeping a fresh and creative perspective over long periods of time. Because of the amount of time that most musicians spend playing and practicing, it is easy to become stale. It seems that it's either feast or famine with creative ideas but here is a little advice that helps me a lot.


I have a little cassette recorder that is about 20 years old that I record all my ideas on. You can use any type of recorder that you have as long as you can record your ideas and listen back. When you have a creative period, record all your ideas even if it is just a riff, rhythm pattern, or melody line. I have about 50 cassettes full of these ideas. When I am going through a creative drought, I listen to these tapes and get instantly snapped back into that creative mind-set that I had on that recording and this usually helps me to get on track.


Try to find other things that will link you to a creative state of mind, maybe a favorite CD, painting, or even an event that happened in your life. These all can be great links to get your creative juices flowing.


Hope this helps!


Yours in Music,
John McCarthy
Rock House