2. Listen to different music Personally, in the past I had never liked rock music, but then I played Guitar Hero. Playing the bass in the game made me appreciate all the melodies, and variations upon those melodies. As I played I could only think about how I would have changed the song into a hip hop beat, using a lot of similar elements, but would have made it altogether different. So now, I listen to different types of music, not to sample, but to get inspired. Whether it's the melody, or how they break down the verse and the hook. It's all different from what I usually listen to, and this gives me lots of new ideas.
3. Seven minute switch Sometimes I have the tendency to stick with a beat for 30 minutes, and the final result may be something I don't like at all. So try this, make 3 to 4 beats, and only spend 7 minutes on each of them. For each one of your beats, try a different tempo, different sounds and different drum patterns. After you make the 4 beats, go back and focus on the one you see the most potential in. I say this, because a lot of the time, for me, the beat that I do very fast may not have all the elements I want in it yet, but it may have the right feeling I am looking for and can turn out very well.
4. Write lyrics first Whether you are a rapper or a singer, (or even just a producer, because nowadays, a lot of beats are sold with hooks for rap songs, and rough draft vocals for R&B songs), try starting with the lyrics first. As your lyrics get laid out, the feeling of a beat should stand out to you, and give you ideas for the intro, hook, etc.
5. Do something different Every once in a while, try to switch up your routine. If you don't sample, sample! If you only use hardware, try out software and take advantage of all the resources out there. There are a million different ways to do what ever you're doing now, but differently, and I'm saying give them a try. No one should ever be stuck in their ways, because the industry changes a lot, and you should be able to change with it.
6. Collaborate Work with others, whether it's a fellow producer or song writer/singer. Everyone I know loves music, and can provide input on a track. If the other person has an idea for a melody, play it out, or let them play it out and vibe off each other's energy. This entire process can be fun and can be a learning experience. The other person may pick sounds you wouldn't usually pick, but work around this, and push your self as a producer and make the track work.
7. Make some noises I honestly feel that since I can't play any instruments, my best instrument is my mouth. Humming is good for me because I can come up with endless melodies in my head. So I get an audio recorder or record directly into my computer, and hum the melody for a song. Then I attempt to remake it with my keyboard or software. I would suggest recording yourself humming the beat before you try to start making it, because if you have that perfect melody in your head, you may hear a sound when you're searching through your sound collections that may inspire an entirely new melody. This is good obviously, but you don't want to lose your first idea either. So just record it, and you won't have to worry about this.
8. Watch Youtube (Or any other video site) Youtube.com has millions of producers out there just like you. With more or less knowledge. Watch them, learn from their mistakes, and learn from their skills. This should be a big source of inspiration, because online you will see all types of people across the world using different equipment and utilizing different techniques.
9. Remake professional beats Test your skills and remake a song you hear on the radio. Put yourself in the producer's head, and figure out how they got that certain sound and that certain feel. In the long run, this will make you more versatile, because when an artist asks for this producer's type of sound, you'll be able to provide them with something similar, but also to add your own style.
10. Learn a musical instrument This is probably one of the most beneficial things that you can do as a producer. But it's probably the hardest thing on this list. It takes time and patience, but when you take some time to learn some chords and train your ears, the possibilities are endless.