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Think to a different tune

A way into creativity that's music to our ears.

Stop me if you think that you've heard this one before. I'm talking about brain patterns again. The mind does love a pattern. It's tuned to seek out ones that it recognises. And it loves to compose new ones.

I don't know about you, but my taste in music spans all sorts. Even so, there are a handful of genres I default to. That's good in a way, because those familiar tunes help me 'tune out' sometimes and focus on what I'm working on.

But when I'm sucking on a pencil and searching for ideas, it's time to rotate the dial to a different wavelength.

Taking yourself out of your go-to musical genres - even for a short time - can help your brain make new mental connections. Your mind will try to find the patterns that it recognises - and sure, there'll be plenty of chords, motifs and music that are new to you - but there'll be plenty of new melodies, sounds, lyrics etc that are unfamiliar.

New mental grooves will start to form. And very often those new pathways suddenly connect to others. Voila. A harmonious fusion leading to new thoughts and ideas.

So its pretty simple. If you like hip hop, try a classical album.

If you like jazz, listen to rap.

If you like female singer-songwriters, listen to some testosterone-fuelled metal.

The 'new' music you're listening to might provoke some different, new emotions.

Things like, "I fucking hate this."

But then think about what it is you don't like about it.

The singer's voice? The lyrics? The tempo? The ear-splitting guitar distortion?

Only by doing things that make us feel uncomfortable do we challenge ourselves (and our minds) to really transform and grow.

If you have the opposite problem and are a fan of tons of different types of music, you may find it hard to find new genres that you've never listened to before.

Here are a few starters for ten:


Vegan Straight Edge

Drone Folk


Coptic Hymn Wandelweiser


Baltic Classical

(these all have subcategories too, so have fun going down the rabbit hole of Spotify playlists)

If ever you need more musical genre inspiration, then check out


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