How about changing up the format, on occasion? A left field idea - mini comps? Something like, write a hook/intro (10s max) or catchiest melody or a mental riff-fest (20-30s).
This ^^^ is pure genius. +10
My original idea behind the comps was for them to be short things people could enter quickly.
It was always supposed to be MORE about a) pulling your thumb out your bum and recording yourself and b) exercising your creativity.
The idea came from a game called "Photo Hunt" my wife used to play on DeviantArt.com.
You were given an idea or concept and you were supposed to go and photograph something. You had like 20 minutes to photograph edit, do minimal editing and post it.
This was done EVERY NIGHT!
The key here: Is it has to be something you can record quickly, submit and that's it.
I'd love to go back to something like that.
After all, I think there are a lot MORE people out there comfortable doing a 10-second recording of themselves than doing a whole song.
(I for one run for the hills when there's any mention of a complete song. It's just crazy complex.)
Adrian, what say you? We can level the playing field by making it a) max 30s long and b) max 1 guitar. No other instruments. That way even complete newbs can play.
If it fails, we've lost nothing for trying.