True or False: “Creativity is a skill that only a few gifted guitar players possess. You must be born with it (or develop it at an early age)… otherwise you might as well give up.” Can you relate to the statements above? Those were the exact beliefs I had about musical creativity many years ago.
Just like many other guitarists, I struggled when trying to come up with creative ideas in my guitar playing. Then, after years of hard work I finally got it! I discovered how to master creativity and began teaching it to hundreds of my guitar students… and with the right approach and the right tools, you can become a highly creative guitar player too.
3 Reasons Why You Are Not A Creative Guitar Player (Yet):
1. You don’t understand the musical language. Imagine yourself in a foreign country where you don’t know its language. Even though you may have a lot to say, you will not be able to communicate anything unless you can speak the right language. The same applies in music. You may have lots of ideas coming into your mind, but if you can’t express them (through the musical “language”)… it’s like they never existed. Discover which specific skills you need to make your creativity come alive by reading this article about expression and musical creativity.
2. You have the wrong belief that creativity will come to you through inspiration and you are not actively working to develop it (I’ll show you how to do this later on this article).
3. You disregard the ideas that come to you every day. We all have inspirational moments throughout the day when ideas strike us… a melody, a lick, a catchy chorus… In some cases we don’t pay attention to simple ideas and judge them as being poor. In other cases, we are simply not ready to use a great idea that strikes us in the moment.
Here is what you need to do to solve these problems:
- Find a great guitar teacher who can give you the best guitar lessons available in order to develop the skills needed for increasing your musical creativity.
- Create a strategy that helps you take advantage of the stream of inspiration that comes to you every day.
How To Create A Stream Of Musical Ideas
Step #1: Be Prepared To Catch Your Inspiration
You can’t schedule inspiration, because great ideas might show up at any time. So you must be ready to catch them in any situation. Be serious about this because when you lose an idea, it’s almost sure you will not remember it again. Make sure you always have a voice recorder and/or pen and paper close to you (if you don’t have your guitar) so you never miss a gem of inspiration again.
Step #2: “Tune” Your Mind To Make It Aware Of New Ideas
Have you ever learned a new word you never used before and noticed how it suddenly comes up in speech everywhere you go? People were using that word before, but you just weren’t aware of it… and now it has become relevant to you.
You can use this same concept to direct your mind to look for creative ideas. Start by changing the way you approach music – from now on, don’t just listen to music passively, but listen for specific musical ideas. For example, choose just one instrument to listen to and pay close attention to any unusual phrases played by that particular instrument in a song (look for something you never noticed before). Apply this same concept to the emotional aspect by focusing on very specific feelings and emotions (and how they are used in different musical situations).
If you do this exercise at least one time every day, you will be amazed by the results you get. Keep doing it and you will begin developing a strong sense of creative awareness (like building muscles through weight training).
Step#3: Keep Every Idea That Crosses Your Path
At first, focus on quantity instead of quality. Forget about thinking of killer ideas at this point – your only task is to collect as many ideas as you can. Additionally, do not criticize your ideas or develop a strong opinion about them… Later on will be time to criticize and refine any idea, but for now, hold back any opinion of them. Even if any idea seems bizarre or odd at first, welcome it and keep it with the rest.
Step#4: Transform Your Ideas Into Actual Music
After you collect tons of raw ideas, you must transform them into real music (songs, guitar solos, etc.). Here is where your music theory skills and aural skills play a critical role. The more you improve your musical skills, the more natural it will be for you to accurately express your original ideas through your music.
Now that you know the process for unleashing your inner creativity, implement it on a regular basis to strengthen your overall ability to express yourself through music. To massively speed up your development, find a great guitar teacher who understands this process and can help you reach higher levels of musical creativity much faster.