At 4/6/11 09:39 PM, merlin wrote:
My advice is leave that song. I have over 100 started projects, and I love it that way. That way down the road, when you're working on something, and you hit that point where you don't know where to go, you can go through your tons of unfinished songs, and find something to steal from it, or inspire you.
Don't ever scrap stuff that had a good start. I've used old ideas in new tracks all the time. I have gigs of unfinished stuff no one has ever heard (that I don't even remember what it sounds like).
I've actually only recently (and finally THANK GOD, I've been composing for a long time) gotten to a point where this happens very rarely to me now. I can actually sit down and FORCE myself to finish a song/piece. I've finished every song I've started in 2011 except one, and I'm eventually even going to go back and finish that, because I never scrap anything incomplete.
NOW IT'S ADVICE TIME!
Part of this is getting over your inner perfectionist. If you keep trying new things and pushing forward instead of constantly over-criticizing eventually your craft gets better until you do things right on the first few tries instead of the first 100 tries.
I also learned directly from a Juno-winning classical composer how much planning can help. This guy plans pieces YEARS in advance because he does lots of commissions for BIG pieces. You don't have to plan years ahead, but if you work out the structure of your song weeks or even just days in advance, your song already has form and direction and you just need to buckle down and fill in that space. Makes it a lot easier to figure out where your track should go. I started doing this, jotting down notes of where the track is headed and it helps immensely. OF COURSE, spontaneous music-making still works and I make great tracks doing that, but waiting for inspiration is not the most reliable thing if you want to continuously pump out music.
My most recent piece, a piano trio almost 8 minutes long, I literally sat down and worked on nothing but THAT for 3 days. This is something you'll eventually be able to do. On top of that, for one transition I couldn't make work at first, I went to some old unfinished/unreleased material and stole a little chunk that fit right in!
There are many ways to get things moving along musically, it can be very frustrating and not everything you make will be the greatest track you've ever done. But, once things get rolling you'll be absolutely surprised at the amount of QUALITY work you can pump out over a shorter time than you ever have before.