- Published Mar 26, 2013 in Signal Flow
- Read time: about 2 minutes
Looking for new ideas? There’s only so much inspiration to be had from those four walls you’ve been staring at. What your brain needs now is new sights, sounds, smells and tastes.
There’s something to be said for locking yourself away from the things of man. Most successful musicians will be happy to tell you their theory of isolation and how it pertains to creativity. I usually feel the same way.
But there comes a point when the pure, unadulterated excitement of your bedroom no longer provides the kind of inspiration that gives way to Billboard 100-quality songs. When that happens, it’s time to see what the rest of the planet has to offer.
It doesn’t matter where you are. Whether your window looks out over the Champ-Élysées or County Road 519, your first step is to get out there and start walking.
Changing your location will help to change your mind. Once you’re up and about, you stop thinking about all that stuff clogging up your brain. Out in the world you’re forced to navigate, negotiate and explore. New neural pathways are created in that grey matter under your hat. Who knows what they’ll sound like once you sit down with your instrument again.
While filming Strawberry Fields Forever, John Lennon wandered into a shop near his hotel. He walked out holding an antique Victorian circus poster advertising a variety show starring Mr. Kite.
Lennon remembered, “ It said the Henderson's would also be there, late of Pablo Fanques Fair. There would be hoops and horses and someone going through a hogshead of real fire.”
And thus was born one of my favorite Beatles songs, Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite!
Talk to someone.
You’re human. The DJ who plays your hit song on the radio is human. All the people who will ever hear it are humans. So doesn’t it make sense to get out and meet some humans?
Music is about communication and expression, two fundamental human desires. Chatting with a few of the 7 billion other people on the planet will help shape your perspective and improve your communication skills. You’ll see just how impressive an effect this can have once you pick up your instrument again.
Whether you’re writing a song or practicing for a performance, you’ll have more empathy for your audience. And that will help you make the kind of connection we feel with history’s greatest music.