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Chapter 3. Finding and developing ideas > Developing your ideas - Pg. 77

Finding and developing ideas 77 Away from the computer? Leonard Bernstein got them lying on the sofa and staring at the ceiling. When his wife entered the room and asked him what he was doing, he would reply, `I'm working!' One thing's for sure. Ideas come more readily if you tell your subconscious that you want them. You may think this is crazy but it works. Give your subconscious instructions. Be specific and set a deadline. Start small. Don't ask for a symphony. You will not get it! Something like: `I want the beginnings of a tune for a children's song by tomorrow morning.' The more you develop this habit of asking for ideas, the more they begin to come. It's habit forming and self-generating. Ideas generate more ideas. I get ideas first thing in the morning as soon as I wake up. They are usually melodic ­ I don't dream chord sequences ­ and fortunately my bedroom is right next door to my studio, so I can leap (crawl, more like) out of bed, boot up Logic and record them before breakfast. After the all important pot of coffee, I can evaluate these gems, delete them (often the case) or file them away in an ideas folder for later development. Ideas tend to come in a flash and often fade away just as quickly. It's important to act quickly and retain them somehow. If you have a great memory, then fine. If not and you are familiar with music notation then it's a simple matter of keeping a manuscript note pad handy. A portable cassette or mini disk recorder and vocal chords are an alternative. Don't doodle! `What a load of cobblers!' I hear you say. `I get my ideas at the keyboard. I fire up Logic, press Record and improvise until the ideas start to flow. Surely that's the best way to get ideas.'