Abandon normal instruments

Accept advice


A line has two sides

Allow an easement (an easement is the abandonment of a stricture)

Always first steps

Are there sections? Consider transitions

Ask people to work against their better judgement

Ask your body

Assemble some of the elements in a group and treat the group

Balance the consistency principle with the inconsistency principle

Be dirty

Be extravagant

Be less critical more often

Breathe more deeply

Bridges -build -burn


Change instrument roles

Change nothing and continue with immaculate consistency

Children -speaking -singing

Cluster analysis

Consider different fading systems

Consult other sources -promising -unpromising


Cut a vital connection

Decorate, decorate

Define an area as 'safe' and use it as an anchor

Destroy -nothing -the most important thing

Discard an axiom

Disciplined self-indulgence

Disconnect from desire

Discover the recipes you are using and abandon them

Distorting time

Do nothing for as long as possible

Don't be afraid of things because they're easy to do

Don't be frightened of cliches

Don't be frightened to display your talents

Don't break the silence

Don't stress one thing more than another

Do something boring

Do the words need changing?

Do we need holes?

Emphasise differences

Emphasise repetitions

Emphasise the flaws

Fill every beat with something

From nothing to more than nothing

Ghost echoes

Give the game away

Give way to your worst impulse

Go outside. Shut the door.

Go slowly all the way round the outside

Go to an extreme, move back to a more comfortable place

Honor thy error as a hidden intention

How would you have done it?

Humanise something free of error

Idiot glee (?)

Imagine the piece as a set of disconnected events

Infinitesimal gradations

Intentions -nobility of -humility of -credibility of

In total darkness, or in a very large room, very quietly

Into the impossible

Is it finished?

Is the intonation correct?

Is there something missing?

It is quite possible (after all)

Just carry on

Listen to the quiet voice

Look at the order in which you do things

Look closely at the most embarrassing details and amplify them

Lost in useless territory

Lowest common denominator

Make a blank valuable by putting it in an exquisite frame

Make an exhaustive list of everything you might do and do the last thing on the list

Make a sudden, destructive unpredictable action; incorporate

Mechanicalise something idiosyncratic

Mute and continue

Not building a wall but making a brick

Once the search is in progress, something will be found

Only a part, not the whole

Only one element of each kind

(Organic) machinery

Overtly resist change

Question the heroic approach

Remember .those quiet evenings

Remove ambiguities and convert to specifics

Remove specifics and convert to ambiguities

Repetition is a form of change

Retrace your steps

Revaluation (a warm feeling)


Short circuit (example; a man eating peas with the idea that they will improve his virility shovels them straight into his lap)

Simple subtraction

Simply a matter of work

State the problem in words as clearly as possible

Take a break

Take away the elements in order of apparent non-importance

The inconsistency principle

The most important thing is the thing most easily forgotten

The tape is now the music

Think of the radio

Tidy up

Towards the insignificant

Trust in the you of now

Turn it upside down

Use an old idea

Use an unacceptable colour

Use fewer notes

Use filters

Use 'unqualified' people


What are the sections sections of? Imagine a caterpillar moving

What are you really thinking about just now?

What is the reality of the situation?

What mistakes did you make last time?

What wouldn't you do?

What would your closest friend do?

Work at a different speed

Would anybody want it?

You are an engineer

You can only make one dot at a time

You don't have to be ashamed of using your own ideas

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Oblique Strategies © 1975-2001 Brian Eno/Peter Schmidt
This web page © 1997-2007 Gregory Taylor