Why Getting Out and Living Life is Crucial for Musical Inspiration

As musicians, we’re told that hours of practice and a constant, dedicated focus are needed to make great work.

But if you’re looking for meaningful inspiration to write a song, living life deeply and consciously might be even more important.

Think about your favorite songs for a second. Where did they come from and what are they about?

The music that usually goes on to have the biggest impact on the most people originates from places of genuine, unguarded living.

Unrequited love, the death of a friend, the birth of a child, economic hardship, uninhibited joy or remorse.

The best songs come from lives that are deeply, messily, and consciously lived.

If you’re searching for musical inspiration, getting out, living life, and paying close attention to the world around you can help you find it.

How an unhealthy music career can take you out of the game of life

A music career runs the risk of becoming unhealthy and unsustainable when a musician prioritizes their work above everything else.

A music career runs the risk of becoming unhealthy and unsustainable when a musician prioritizes their work above everything else.

Whether it’s staying on the road for months on end or choosing to practice instead of showing up to an important family event, the quest to be successful in music can cause you to live a less fulfilling life and damage your musical creativity in the process.

All art reflects life, music included. So what good does it do to focus on completely music and neglect your life?

Missing out on life’s most important moments means that ultimately your music will sound less inspired than it could be.

Healthy, inspired musicians need balance

Music can’t, and shouldn’t, be the only thing you think and care about.

You’ll end up being healthier and writing better music if you can find a balance between your music and everything else going on in your life.

Music requires plenty of sacrifices, but there are times when it will need to take a backseat to other important things happening in your life.

Music requires plenty of sacrifices, but there are times when it will need to take a backseat to other important things happening in your life.

This might mean saying no to a show, tour, or invitation to collaborate from time to time.

In a healthy music career, you’ll be more likely to find musical inspiration if you make a conscious effort to leave enough energy space to live life deeply and observantly.

How life’s ups and downs inspire meaningful music

Being active, curious, and present for life’s challenges, successes, and even mundane moments can translate into priceless creative inspiration.

Countless songs and other artworks were motivated by the profound highs and abysmal lows we all feel through our own unique experiences.

Musician Phil Elverum of the band Mount Eerie tragically lost his wife to pancreatic cancer in 2016. His album A Crow Looked at Me is a concept album about his wife’s death and the grief he experienced in the months after.

In 1999, Prefab Sprout’s Paddy McAloon suffered detachment from both retinas in his eyes. His surgery fixed the problem, but it left him temporarily blind and unable to write music how he was used to.

But rather than giving in to despair, McAloon explored ways creating music that were completely new to him.

The result is I Trawl the Megahertz, a sprawling album inspired by and constructed with recordings of chat shows, phone-in programs, and documentaries McAloon complied, spliced together, and added on to.

Countless songs have been inspired by parenthood, including Stevie Wonder’s “Isn’t She Lovely,” and John Lennon’s “Beautiful Boy (Darling Boy).”



It’s not easy to translate pure joy or grief into music, but chances are there’s more than enough creative inspiration in your life to make great music with.

The challenge is being willing to pay attention and confront what’s happening in your life with openness and creative curiosity.

The challenge is being willing to pay attention and confront what’s happening in your life with openness and creative curiosity.

The best music has an ability to reach people and relate to them in a meaningful way.

Making that sort of work often requires real bravery and a willingness to turn to your life over and over again to find inspiration.

The value of life experience in music

Musical inspiration doesn’t have to always come from earth-shattering life events.

Sometimes it can be found in something as mundane as a brief exchange with a stranger, a subway ride, or conversation with a friend.

Life experience is crucial for musical inspiration, which means the more active and fulfilling your life is, the better your music will be.

Hard work is necessary for a music career, but if work is your primary focus, your music will lack inspiration. Take risks, ask questions, feel your feelings, and pay attention.

Living deeply and mining your firsthand experiences and observations to fuel your music will ensure that creative inspiration will always be accessible.

The post Why Getting Out and Living Life is Crucial for Musical Inspiration appeared first on LANDR Blog.

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