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Ever start a song you can't finish?

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EricFreeman
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Ever start a song you can't finish? Apr. 6th, 2011 @ 09:29 PM Reply

This problem is currently plaguing me. I can always think of openings to songs, but sometimes I can't think of where they should go, or what should come next, then get bored and give up.

Or, worse yet, I can't find anything else to add to an uncompleted song. I have most of a song completed, but every time I try to find a bass or a pad or something to add to it, it sounds terrible, and I shelve it, even though I liked the other parts of it.

Does anyone else share these problems or do you have your own special ways of getting around them?

jpbear
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Response to Ever start a song you can't finish? Apr. 6th, 2011 @ 09:39 PM Reply

I think goin from that 10-60 second loop to a song is much more frequent of a problem.

Often times ill churn out an intro but by that time ill want to take the song in a whole new direction.

Dont hesitate to scrap that loop youve been working hours on, my advice.

merlin
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Response to Ever start a song you can't finish? Apr. 6th, 2011 @ 09:39 PM Reply

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.

This whole idea, though, is only a luxury for those with a short attention span like me. I start maybe 3 or 4 songs a week. Probably end up saving 1, and either finish it, or move on. Either way, I don't have regrets over it.


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Response to Ever start a song you can't finish? Apr. 6th, 2011 @ 09:46 PM Reply

Out of the 50 songs I have uploaded here... About 45 of them are unfinished.


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DjKaz
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Response to Ever start a song you can't finish? Apr. 6th, 2011 @ 10:18 PM Reply

I have this exact problem, I usually just label them unfinished then look back at them and laugh later on.


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sugarsimon
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Response to Ever start a song you can't finish? Apr. 6th, 2011 @ 10:24 PM Reply

every 10-20 songs and also making my music is not finish

joethesouleater
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Response to Ever start a song you can't finish? Apr. 6th, 2011 @ 10:43 PM Reply

happens all the time, in fact ive started 3 songs today and i dont know what to do with them, later on i'll probably figure something out


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Response to Ever start a song you can't finish? Apr. 6th, 2011 @ 11:25 PM Reply

you are, for sure, not alone.

we should collab and make a big song out of our unfinished crap

DjKaz
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Response to Ever start a song you can't finish? Apr. 6th, 2011 @ 11:28 PM Reply

At 4/6/11 11:25 PM, ganon95 wrote: you are, for sure, not alone.

we should collab and make a big song out of our unfinished crap

This actually sounds like a good idea to me.


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EricFreeman
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Response to Ever start a song you can't finish? Apr. 7th, 2011 @ 12:07 AM Reply

At 4/6/11 11:25 PM, ganon95 wrote: we should collab and make a big song out of our unfinished crap

I've got plenty to donate XP

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Response to Ever start a song you can't finish? Apr. 7th, 2011 @ 12:09 AM Reply

All the time. For every song I finish, there are 4-5 others that I either started & didn't finish, or finished but put in my junk folder. One way I get around it is to think of an unfinished song as I'm falling asleep. For some reason, that semi-conscious state is a haven for new ideas.

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Response to Ever start a song you can't finish? Apr. 7th, 2011 @ 12:39 AM Reply

A lot of the songs I uploaded (like 400 of them) are all unfinished or are loops. I have a good 300 songs on my hard drive that are stuck in a loop limbo where I can't imagine anything past the loop and/or my creative style has shifted too much so if I were to continue it, it'd be weird.

masheenH3ad
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Response to Ever start a song you can't finish? Apr. 7th, 2011 @ 12:46 AM Reply

Don't worry it also happened to Stravinsky. See?.. Composing music is really hard.

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Response to Ever start a song you can't finish? Apr. 7th, 2011 @ 01:13 AM Reply

all the time dude - I eventually pocket them away for years and then come back to them years later and finish them.


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Response to Ever start a song you can't finish? Apr. 7th, 2011 @ 01:57 AM Reply

At 4/6/11 10:24 PM, sugarsimon wrote: every 10-20 songs and also making my music is not finish

You must heed these words of wisdom.

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Response to Ever start a song you can't finish? Apr. 7th, 2011 @ 02:12 AM Reply

It never happens to me....

I feel left out:(

NickPerrin
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Response to Ever start a song you can't finish? Apr. 7th, 2011 @ 02:52 AM Reply

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.

THIS.

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.

GOOD LUCK!

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Response to Ever start a song you can't finish? Apr. 7th, 2011 @ 03:34 AM Reply

At 4/7/11 02:12 AM, stratkat wrote: It never happens to me....

I feel left out:(

Don't feel left out, it never happens to me either :D.

My problem is actually thinking of a decent idea. Then everything comes along easily.


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Reaper93
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Response to Ever start a song you can't finish? Apr. 7th, 2011 @ 03:49 AM Reply

Like every single song I've ever made is unfinished.

Getting to a ten second loop is easy. Getting it to a ninety second half-complete song is hard, getting to 3 minutes and finished is friggin' impossible.

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Response to Ever start a song you can't finish? Apr. 7th, 2011 @ 04:34 AM Reply

At 4/7/11 03:49 AM, Reaper93 wrote: Like every single song I've ever made is unfinished.

Getting to a ten second loop is easy. Getting it to a ninety second half-complete song is hard, getting to 3 minutes and finished is friggin' impossible.

I can relate. I don't think I have a single portal song posted (past and present) that ever passed the two-and-a-half minute mark. I did have a 6 minute song once, but it was a improvisational joke ('Last Place Song" long-since removed).

I don't think I've ever gone over 2:30 on a song that WASN'T a commission, or wasn't played live.

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Response to Ever start a song you can't finish? Apr. 7th, 2011 @ 07:54 AM Reply

I've got tons of unfinished work projects sitting around collecting dust. Most of them are just crappy little ditties I came up with in 5 seconds then abandoned.
Some songs come together great until I have to add another element, like a pad or something, and then NOTHING sounds good.


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Response to Ever start a song you can't finish? Apr. 7th, 2011 @ 08:23 AM Reply

Constantly! I´ve got tons of unfinshed projects just laying around. Some are just short drafts...
I believe we all got a pile of unfinished songs laying somewhere.

All you can really do is to hope that someday you´ll get the inspiration needed to finish them.
But when that pile is starting to get really big and you still feel that you have no idea how to continue you can put together a few of those "unfinished" pieces to a new one. Take out the parts that you like and make some cool transitions to each and every piece. That sure makes for one hell of a dynamic song :P

Now i dunno if that´s such a brilliant idea when making Trance, DnB, techno etc. But i usually do this when i´m on a dry and i still want to create a new orchestral piece.

Reaper93
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Response to Ever start a song you can't finish? Apr. 7th, 2011 @ 08:53 AM Reply

At 4/7/11 07:54 AM, crapatflash wrote: I've got tons of unfinished work projects sitting around collecting dust. Most of them are just crappy little ditties I came up with in 5 seconds then abandoned.
Some songs come together great until I have to add another element, like a pad or something, and then NOTHING sounds good.

Actually my latest song is having that exact problem. I'm stuck in the latter half of the build and can't seem to find the right element to add. So far I've spent a few hours trying basses and none of that worked so I guess next is some light percussive elements or some kind of background arp or something.

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Response to Ever start a song you can't finish? Apr. 7th, 2011 @ 09:11 AM Reply

This is all a lie. Everybody always finishes every song they start. That is except for YOU EricFreeman.

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Response to Ever start a song you can't finish? Apr. 7th, 2011 @ 10:10 AM Reply

Ughhh, that happens all the time.


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Response to Ever start a song you can't finish? Apr. 7th, 2011 @ 10:40 AM Reply

I have a ton of unfinished music. Additionally, I have about 50 pieces of paper and Finale documents that are literally just me jotting down ideas for thematic material.

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Response to Ever start a song you can't finish? Apr. 7th, 2011 @ 10:49 AM Reply

Finishing old projects or even fixing them can help you with procrastination. What helps me continue working on songs is to work for an hour, take a break for one or two hours, then work on it again for another hour.

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Response to Ever start a song you can't finish? Apr. 7th, 2011 @ 10:52 AM Reply

I have 2 project folders full of unfinished stuff. Some day I'll probably just give them out or something. Maybe other people can finish them for me, and give me ideas for new songs.


At 3/27/11 10:22 PM, sugarsimon wrote:
the brilliant songs who create a production for music
Wat

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Response to Ever start a song you can't finish? Apr. 7th, 2011 @ 01:01 PM Reply

I have tons of unfinished songs that sound really damn great but I can't get myself to finish them for some reason. I'm not quite sure how to get myself motivated enough to do so, therefore I guess I'm not much help.


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Response to Ever start a song you can't finish? Apr. 7th, 2011 @ 01:44 PM Reply

I just realized most people work on songs for several days to several weeks and that seems normal for ya'll. If I spend more than a day on a song I think it's taking too long...oops!

I worked on my one song "I Ran (Out of Ideas)" for three days before I finally figured out how to finish it, and I thought that was forever. I gave it the title I did because it was taking me so long to finish (by my standards), heh.