What do you do when you can't finish a song?

Discussion in 'Education' started by AlmostNormal, Sep 15, 2019.

  1. AlmostNormal

    AlmostNormal Member

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    Hey everyone, I don't know where exactly to post this topic, but...
    I just wanted to know what you do when/if you get stuck making music (whatever the genre is). I'm facing this kind of problem right now, like I can come up with ideas easily, nice chords, melodies, sounds... however I rarely take them to the end, they are nothing but loops in my daw.
    So I would really appreciate some cool techniques/books/videos to deal with this issue, and, maybe, have some creativity boost.

    Thank you :bow:
     
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  3. Cav Emp

    Cav Emp Audiosexual

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    Usually i just work on something else until I have some distance from the project I'm stuck on

    But if you want a good seminar about workflow, productivity, mentality, and just getting shit done in general, Ill Gates's the Ill Methodology was really useful to me a few years ago. Been meaning to re-watch it
     
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  4. metaller

    metaller Rock Star

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    Study about song structures and forms. Once you know that, you can finish a song better
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2019
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  5. Research VS. Experimentation

    You need both. 50, 50, to understand what works for you. Professors choose the first one and futility-maker experimentalists' only interest is the second one.

    After years of exploration in both fields, you will throw away more than 90% of your accumulated knowledge and eventually find your voice and start to torture your audiences.
     
  6. troywatto5150

    troywatto5150 Newbie

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    GnR
    where do we go
    where do we go
    where do we go now
     
  7. rudolph

    rudolph Platinum Record

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    What about real musical talent?
     
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  8. Cav Emp

    Cav Emp Audiosexual

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    How come every time I see your handle on here you're making some snide comment like this, but you don't ever post your own music?
     
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  9. naitguy

    naitguy Member

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    I tend to just put the song on the back burner and work on something else... then come back later. I have a lot of finished projects but a lot of abandoned ones too. It happens. I actually just started working again on a song I stated years ago!!
     
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  10. ( . ) ( . )

    ( . ) ( . ) Audiosexual

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    shit like this happens often when making music, it happens no matter what level you’re at, sometimes it’s just not happening in the office...

    the difference with the pros however, is this happens much less often than with others, and most of it comes with experience and practice...

    arranging a track can be really hard, in the beginning you probably will never know what to do, but the trick is never get stuck in a loop, always try to somehow make an intro, chorus, outro etc even if it is shit, getting stuck in a loop will prevent you from learning how to compose/arrange a track, and that experience is vital if you wanna get better at it and learn.

    Always arrange and as you get better you make better arrangement decisions... but never get stuck in a loop...
     
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  11. fleschdnb

    fleschdnb Ultrasonic

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    if you cant finish a song, it means you dont like it. move on. ill make patches out of the synths, bounce my drumloop out, maybe even make a new drum pack out of the processed drum oneshots,etc. basically explode the track..then use my favorite elements from that track in a new way on a new track. never look back.

    if you have alot of DAW sessions with just 16 bars of drums and bass and synth...then bounce those out! save the patches in the synth and start building your own sample library. thats where inspiration comes from and to make a good track you need to be inspired.

    when you like a track, and its good, you wont have any problem completing it.
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2019
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  12. rhythmatist

    rhythmatist Audiosexual

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    I go bike riding on a trail (avoids traffic) or walking. It clears my head and things come to me that have had me stumped.
     
  13. Fudsey Plange

    Fudsey Plange Audiosexual

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  14. Funk U

    Funk U Producer

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    Masturbate. Sometimes thrice!!!:wink: The latter depends on how many frustrated tears I've managed to collect.:suicide:
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2019
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  15. The Pirate

    The Pirate Audiosexual

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    It happens to all of us. Through the years I have learned to have patience, and not get discouraged. You have to break that cycle or it becomes a bad habit. Everyone has offer you some valuable advices. One advice I will give you would be to seek collaboration. It is hard for two people to get stuck when creating a song. The exchange of ideas and interaction is good medicine for writer's/creativity block. Another advice would be to set a deadline. Approach the process as you would do with any other task. Give yourself certain time to finish it...AND FINISH IT!
     
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  16. Olymoon

    Olymoon MODERATOR Staff Member

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    That kind of comment does not bring anything valuable to the OP s question.
     
  17. Olymoon

    Olymoon MODERATOR Staff Member

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    That could be into lounge or education sections, but "working with sound" is not the right one.
    I'm changing it to "education"
    ............................

    As you say that you endup with loops in your DAW I'd recommend to try this:
    Think about what role would play the idea in a complete song/track?
    Would it be the chorus or main idea? Or would it be the verse? Or...
    Once you decided this, create a structure with the idea where it should be, letting blank spaces for any other (not yet composed) parts.
    Now, work on filling the blank spaces.

    Example: let's call your loop " written part" and let's says it's a chorus

    Intro - verse - written part- break - verse - bridge - written part - instrumental - written part variation - outtro

    You can think of any structure in any genre that way, and thanks to this method you can listen to your written part in context, and feel what you need to do. Specially if you keep some drums in the not yet written parts.

    Obviously, the structure is initially so arbitrary that it will certainly change while composing the missing parts.
     
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  18. evolasme

    evolasme Kapellmeister

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    I'm fortunate I have a lot of musician friends if I'm stuck sometimes ill see if one of them wanna work on it together often a different set of eye and ears and taste can walk into a project and find the answer that was right there all along. even if that doesn't happen, for me it broadens my vision and I seem to find not necessarily what i was looking for but something that works and better then I ever could have imagined. sometimes you get tunnel vision on a track and you need someone to help you snap out of it.
     
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  19. Burninstar

    Burninstar Producer

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  20. Xupito

    Xupito Audiosexual

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    Wrong topic. Wrong language. Wrong education. Wrong everything :rofl:

    Good advice! Doesn't work always though, I know it because... a.. because...a... a friend of mine told me! :wink:
     
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  21. PatriciaNeqrency

    PatriciaNeqrency Noisemaker

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    It's hard to answer your question, it seems very simple but when we take a closer look it's complicated. I think it all boils down to your personality. There are people who are very productive (like the russian dude called Senmuth has over 150 albums on bandcamp) , there are others who are not. If you are not productive that does not mean you are a noob without skills. Creativity flows different for everyone. I personally have lots of hobbies like making music, playing games, making graphics. I am like you, I can't finish my songs even if the song parts are great and while I don't have any PhD in music, I know how to finish songs. But same goes with graphic art. I often get sidetracked, distracted and my focus shifts to something else. If I "force" myself to finish a song or art piece I always feel like I am restricting my creative freedom and most likely the result won't be that good.
    Is motivation the key? Maybe. Would you be more productive if you know you have a fanbase and thousands of people would listen to your song? Or would you be more productive if a record label would pay good dosh for your songs? Maybe. We are all being motivated by something else. I know I would be motivated to be more productive if my friends and family would at least give a listen to my songs, or take a look at my artworks, but they are just not interested.
    There was a time when I felt bad for not being able to finish my works, I thought I am retarded. But then I talked to other artists and it changed my views on this matter. Turns out this problem of "not being able to finish your stuff" is more common than I thought and it has nothing to do with talent or skill level. It's just there. Even great painters and writers have them. So far there is no answer why, not that I'm aware of.
    Creativity is a very abstract concept. It's a force that lives inside us, hard to grasp and hard to tame... Not to mention that everyone's brain works in a different way.
     
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