The Beatles, Get Back: Honing Your Creative Instincts

In a previous blog post I explained a lesson I learned about setting deadlines from The Beatles: Get Back documentary.

The second lesson I found whilst watching the series is the idea of Honing Your Creative Instincts

As a creative individual – even if you’re not a Beatle – give yourself a project that you are making, be it a song, a story, a film, a comic, a poem, it will hone your instincts and you will make better decisions and better creative projects the more you flex that skill.

If you know the album Let It Be, seeing the process of the band slowly gestating a song is fascinating. They are searching whilst they play things over and over. They obviously know they are missing something – be it a lyric or the right fill, or a structural element to the song. Their instincts are telling them the jigsaw is not fitting, and because they have written so many songs they are able to trust the process and know when they have locked into the “right” thing.

George Harrison makes a comment in the film about the fact that their songs always continued to develop as they played them live night after night. What was on the record was not the best representation of a song in the early days. They needed that incubation period to develop it. That is an interesting difference between live performance versus a static art like film or illustration. It’s also something The Beatles avoided later in their career by giving up live performance. This let them treat the record as a static work of art in itself. It’s interesting comparing that to today’s climate where streaming has diluted the importance of the album. And live performance is now a band’s primary means of making a living. But I digress. 

Start a project and begin honing your creative instincts!