• Inspiration and Perspiration: The phases of creating music

  • Inspiration and Perspiration: The phases of creating music

    February 26, 2016 | Scot Silver
  • When it comes to creating music, we have many obstacles to overcome:

    1- Learning to play an instrument and/or sing.  If you are reading this, you have already taken steps in that direction.

    2 – Waiting for the muse to strike.  This falls in the ‘Inspiration’ category and will be discussed further.

    3 – Creating chords/harmony, melody, rhythm and words, if applicable. These are the necessary components of music.

    4 – Finishing the tune.  This is the ‘Perspiration’.

    Inspiration may strike in many ways.  You may be ‘noodling’ on your instrument or singing nonsense and you stumble on a cool idea.  Many a great song have started in this fashion with a hot lick or series of chords, or a memorable melody that you squeak out.

    Note: The muse does not have to strike to start a song.  With proper tools, theory and execution, you can be trained to create music to your liking. Sometimes it is just trial and error.

    Perspiration is most often how we finish our tunes.  Inspiration may have gotten the musical ball rolling, but we need follow thru.  We need a melody to accompany that riff or chord progression you created.  Or we need chords to accompany those lyrics you wrote.  Another section is needed to complete your masterpiece.  Whatever it may be, do not discard a great idea because you do not have the same initial magic that got it started.  Songs may sit for months before they are resolved.  Stick with it, run your music by your instructor and come up with a solution to bring your music to life.

     As Abraham Lincoln once said “Genius is one percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration”.