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rhythmic rut

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Trusted Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 48
Topic starter  

Lately ive been stuck in what seems like an endlessly deep rut of playing the same boring rhythms and chord progressions everytime i sit down and write songs. Does anyone have any suggestions on how to spice up my rhythm... maybe different strums or new chords, but does anyone have any other suggestions?


Reputable Member
Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 235


I know what you mean, I always seem to be in a rut of some kind! Either lyrically, melodically, or rhythmically. Currently really struggling to write lyrics that I'm happy with.

But anyway, something you might try is to pick up a record that has some unusual (or at least different to what you keep writing) rhythms on it and try to write like that.

Not that I'm suggesting plagiarism or anything, but just let it influence where you take your songs. For example I recently got the Bloc Party album (you may well never had heard of them!) and they write songs with (to me) unusual rhythms and structures. Almost instantly I have been writing more interesting stuff myself, without actually ripping off any of their songs in particular.

As far as using different chords goes, just try using minors where you'd usually use majors and vice versa. You should get some ideas that way.


Listen Louder Than You Play

Reputable Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 206

What about finding a cowriter? I find working with different people helps come up with different ideas you wouldn't normally thought of.

Eminent Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 22

Find a drum book that shows u different rhythms used from different countries around the world. Then try sticking ur chord progressions to them and see what happens. If it sucks then change the part of the chord progression that sucks to something better or switch them around or something. Experiment

Noble Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 2171

Start writting a new song right now but first decide on the rhythm before you do anything else.

"The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side." -- HST

Estimable Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 128

Theory! Learn some new concept and see if you can do anything with them. Theres' allways something new to learn that you can use to write differently.

Illustrious Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 8184

paul simon - graceland
dave matthews - any of his early to mid 90's albums
jimi hendrix - any of his original studio albums
elliot smith - any of his albums
ani difranco - any of her albums

plenty of interesting rhythms and chords here.

Estimable Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 167

hmm i have the same problem... im currently tryin to write something with a nice catchy ac/dc type rhythm but i keep coming up with the awkward kinda prog-rock rythm parts....
i decided to hit the book shop for some decent theory tutors with some practical examples... really really helpful.

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