Why do I have trouble finishing my songs?

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Kelvin92
KVRist
56 posts since 13 Dec, 2017

Post Sat Aug 11, 2018 8:00 am

Every time I have a great idea, I end up with a breakdown or a drop that was in my mind. Then I leave it a day to see if it really is worth finishing, but then the moment I want to continue, my mind drops blank in finishing the song. It is driving me nuts. Anybody got some tips? I really want to finish songs that I like and the way I want it to.

Zexila
KVRAF
3194 posts since 18 Mar, 2008

Re: Why do I have trouble finishing my songs?

Post Sat Aug 11, 2018 8:04 am

Don't force it, enjoy the journey and have fun. :tu:
This entire forum is wading through predictions, opinions, barely formed thoughts, drama, and whining. If you don't enjoy that, why are you here? :D ShawnG

Kelvin92
KVRist
56 posts since 13 Dec, 2017

Re: Why do I have trouble finishing my songs?

Post Sat Aug 11, 2018 8:12 am

Yes I really enjoy making it, but sometimes it is really frustrating because I have/had so many unfinished projects, that I wished that everything I start, I also finish.

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el-bo (formerly ebow)
KVRAF
10878 posts since 24 May, 2009 from A galaxy, far far away

Re: Why do I have trouble finishing my songs?

Post Sat Aug 11, 2018 8:18 am

Wise old Chinese proverb: "Don't start composing vertically until you've finished composing horizontally" :tu:

Etienne1973
KVRist
386 posts since 8 Feb, 2013 from Switzerland

Re: Why do I have trouble finishing my songs?

Post Sat Aug 11, 2018 8:52 am

el-bo (formerly ebow) wrote:Wise old Chinese proverb: "Don't start composing vertically until you've finished composing horizontally" :tu:
I had the this problem for years. :wink:

It's like building a house.

What really helped me: I decide as the first step what structure the whole song/track should have.

By analyzing "popular" existing songs/tracks I got better at it. So I don't fall into the trap trying to reinvent the wheel.

Kelvin92
KVRist
56 posts since 13 Dec, 2017

Re: Why do I have trouble finishing my songs?

Post Sat Aug 11, 2018 9:00 am

So you start out with putting markers on the grid? For example intro: bar 1 till 17 , chorus, bar 17 till 33, etc etc ?

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el-bo (formerly ebow)
KVRAF
10878 posts since 24 May, 2009 from A galaxy, far far away

Re: Why do I have trouble finishing my songs?

Post Sat Aug 11, 2018 9:10 am

Kelvin92 wrote:So you start out with putting markers on the grid? For example intro: bar 1 till 17 , chorus, bar 17 till 33, etc etc ?
Personally, that's the last thing I'd do. I don't want to put any boundaries on where my music will go. Of course, if you have the intention of composing in a style or genre that has an expected, strict conformity in arrangement, then it might serve you.

The idea of not getting stuck vertically, is to avoid spending hours stacking and layering your loops. Stacking vertically gives the feeling of making progress (a procrastination, of sorts), when, more often than not, you spend so long burning that loop into your brain that it becomes almost impossible to conceive where it could go next.

For me, I try to strip the composing down to one simple, yet flexible, sound. This would normally be a piano sound, or something similar. That way, if the piece sounds interesting with just a piano, it will likely do well once the rest of the arrangement is built.

Of course, you can start with any instrument you like. Just keep in mind the forward progression.
Last edited by el-bo (formerly ebow) on Sat Aug 11, 2018 9:28 am, edited 1 time in total.

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el-bo (formerly ebow)
KVRAF
10878 posts since 24 May, 2009 from A galaxy, far far away

Re: Why do I have trouble finishing my songs?

Post Sat Aug 11, 2018 9:12 am

Etienne1973 wrote:
el-bo (formerly ebow) wrote:Wise old Chinese proverb: "Don't start composing vertically until you've finished composing horizontally" :tu:
I had the this problem for years. :wink:

It's like building a house.

What really helped me: I decide as the first step what structure the whole song/track should have.

By analyzing "popular" existing songs/tracks I got better at it. So I don't fall into the trap trying to reinvent the wheel.
Yup! Like building a house.

As for not reinventing the wheel. Sometimes wheels need to be reinvented, lest they become stale. Not sure which metaphors are being mixed, there :ud:

Etienne1973
KVRist
386 posts since 8 Feb, 2013 from Switzerland

Re: Why do I have trouble finishing my songs?

Post Sat Aug 11, 2018 9:16 am

Kelvin92 wrote:So you start out with putting markers on the grid? For example intro: bar 1 till 17 , chorus, bar 17 till 33, etc etc ?
Exactly. For the whole song/track first structure.

Again: I don't try reinvent the weel. For structure I copy existing songs/tracks.

Then next I compose mostly a lead melody for chorus(es) with only basic rhythm groove section (drums and simple bass).

Etienne1973
KVRist
386 posts since 8 Feb, 2013 from Switzerland

Re: Why do I have trouble finishing my songs?

Post Sat Aug 11, 2018 9:20 am

el-bo (formerly ebow) wrote:As for not reinventing the wheel. Sometimes wheels need to be reinvented, lest they become stale. Not sure which metaphors are being mixed, there :ud:
Sure. It's just harder to do for me personally.

Kelvin92
KVRist
56 posts since 13 Dec, 2017

Re: Why do I have trouble finishing my songs?

Post Sat Aug 11, 2018 9:34 am

el-bo (formerly ebow) wrote:
Kelvin92 wrote:So you start out with putting markers on the grid? For example intro: bar 1 till 17 , chorus, bar 17 till 33, etc etc ?
Personally, that's the last thing I'd do. I don't want to put any boundaries on where my music will go. Of course, if you have the intention of composing in a style or genre that has an expected, strict conformity in arrangement, then it might serve you.

The idea of not getting stuck vertically, is to avoid spending hours stacking and layering your loops. Stacking vertically gives the feeling of making progress (a procrastination, of sorts), when, more often than not, you spend so long burning that loop into your brain that it becomes almost impossible to conceive where it could go next.

For me, I try to strip the composing down to one simple, yet flexible, sound. This would normally be a piano sound, or something similar. That way, if the piece sounds interesting with just a piano, it will likely do well once the rest of the arrangement is built.

Of course, you can start with any instrument you like. Just keep in mind the forward progression.
That is something I mostly do, finding a nice melody/chord progression and then I try to layer it with some sounds to make it thick.

Will try making it with one instrument in the beginning, and then the layering stuff.

Kelvin92
KVRist
56 posts since 13 Dec, 2017

Re: Why do I have trouble finishing my songs?

Post Sat Aug 11, 2018 9:35 am

Etienne1973 wrote:
Kelvin92 wrote:So you start out with putting markers on the grid? For example intro: bar 1 till 17 , chorus, bar 17 till 33, etc etc ?
Exactly. For the whole song/track first structure.

Again: I don't try reinvent the weel. For structure I copy existing songs/tracks.

Then next I compose mostly a lead melody for chorus(es) with only basic rhythm groove section (drums and simple bass).

Will try that also, I tried that before sometimes, but it didn't worked out and fell in old habits. But will try it again.

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thecontrolcentre
KVRAF
23497 posts since 27 Jul, 2005 from the wilds of wanny

Re: Why do I have trouble finishing my songs?

Post Sat Aug 11, 2018 9:55 am

Having a release schedule helps me get focused on finishing tracks. Without one, why would you bother? (other than for fun). Book some gigs ... then you have to finish some tunes. ;)

Another option ... don't start a new tune until you finish the last one.

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vurt
addled muppet weed
40575 posts since 26 Jan, 2003 from through the looking glass

Re: Why do I have trouble finishing my songs?

Post Sat Aug 11, 2018 10:57 am

Kelvin92 wrote:Every time I have a great idea, I end up with a breakdown or a drop that was in my mind. Then I leave it a day to see if it really is worth finishing, but then the moment I want to continue, my mind drops blank in finishing the song. It is driving me nuts. Anybody got some tips? I really want to finish songs that I like and the way I want it to.

do you get ideas for other tracks while not finishing the first one?
if so, go with it. get each idea down, at some point you will move past it. when you start having less fresh ideas (ie new starting points) and ideas will start coming for the parts you already have as you learn more.

if all else fails, add all your parts in to a sampler and mash it up in to one track.

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vurt
addled muppet weed
40575 posts since 26 Jan, 2003 from through the looking glass

Re: Why do I have trouble finishing my songs?

Post Sat Aug 11, 2018 10:59 am

thecontrolcentre wrote:Having a release schedule helps me get focused on finishing tracks.
i need a manager :lol:
one who pushes me, im too laidback and people around me have given up trying to push me to do anything :scared:

but, how do you get a manager, when youre offering 10/15% of nowt :lol:

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