Why you can't finish more songs
and what you can do to change this
by Alex Rome
In this post, I will discuss with you the reason you can’t finish more songs, and what you can do in order to finish more songs both peacefully and effectively
Now there’s a good chance your finished to unfinished song ratio is alot of unfinished songs, and not a lot of finished ones
And theres also a chance that that you often fall victim to the music producer project death cycle
This cycle starts when something inspires you to write a song, then, you experience the euphoria of hyper focused creativity that only music producers get to experience, and for whatever reason, you lose motivation to finish the song.
It is at this point, where the urge to tap out and start something new kicks in. Hence, we restart the visious cycle.
There are 3 reasons you aren’t finishing more songs and you find yourself stuck in this cycle.
I'm going to discuss each of them and show you what you can do to build better habits that will lead you to finishing more songs and ultimately building the music portfolio that you dream of.
You aren’t jamming (or practicing) enough
Every time you open the DAW you're trying to make a song. The problem here is that building a full release ready song is no small task. It is very time consuming and takes a lot of energy. Also, you have to follow rules and standards when making songs which can be creatively limiting and stressful.
Even if you dont think you’re following rules when making songs, you are…
In music, rules are just our internal standards by which we believe our own music should sound. If every time you open a DAW you are taking on the weight of building a full song, you will burn yourself out every time.
But what if there was a way to make music with no standards at all?
How creatively freeing would that feel to make music that doesn’t have to satisfy any standards at all including your own?
This is why you need to dedicate time to practicing (or what I like to call jamming). Learn how to open your daw with no intentions of making something good and no intentions of making something that you may end up releasing. Just open your daw, make noise, and have fun.
When practicing, try things youve never tried before like weird sound design techniques you would never think to use, or practice things you hate doing like building drum loops from scratch or practicing arrangement. Maybe, on a practice day, you take an obscure sample from your favorite library and build something you would never think to build
Ultimately, you’ll get three things from practicing:
- You will learn new things that you can apply to your projects you plan on releasing
- all the mistakes you make when building songs will now be made in your practice projects so that building songs will be more seamless and less frustrating
- Practicing music will allow you to make and solve all your frustrating mistakes in practice so that in real songs, you can make song and not have to worry about running into frustrating problems that lead to you giving up on potentially really good songs
You’re not guiding yourself to the finish line.
The easiest way to finish songs is to know what you’re trying to make. It is impossible to get to an end goal when you have no idea what the end goal is. Most producers get inspired, open the daw, and start making music with no end goal in mind. In this situation, all of your energy is focused on starting the song. When you energy is focused on starting, and not enough of your energy is focused on your end goal (or in other words, what you're trying to make), you will struggle to finish songs every time.
Maybe you think you have a good idea for what it is you're trying to make, but, if you haven’t already put more effort into preparing for your end goal rather than just focusing on starting, then you probably don’t have a good idea for what you are trying to make.
You can make all the unprepared music you desire during practice however, When it’s time to pour countless hours and life energy into the heavy task of building a release ready song, it is best to go into it prepared..
Next time you sit down to make a song that you plan on releasing I want you to think about the write things I attached below:
You aren't properly using a reference track
This is an all time favorite exercise of my students
The easiest way to prepare yourself to finish a song is to use a reference track. Reference tracks help guide you through all the things you don’t care about so that you can focus more on the things that you do care about
For example, If I want to make tech house, I find a popular song in that genre that I want to do something similar to and just copy the things I don’t feel like putting much thought into. Things like arrangement, and drum rhythms are very easy to copy from other songs because most songs use similar arrangements and drum rhythms anyway.
If I can copy these things, I will have more creative energy to focus on the things I really care about like the melodies and sound design. The more I can focus on the parts of the song I am most passionate about, the better chance I have of making these elements unique and develop my own unique sound.
When I don’t use a reference track, I always end up spending too much energy on things that I can easily copy, then, when I get to the things that have to be unique, like the melodies and sound design, I have no gas left in the creative tank.
Usually this is the point at which I burn myself out, add another project to the graveyard, and start something new.
So, use a reference track, and thank me later.
More resources for you
If you enjoyed this lesson and would like more resources on learning music production the right way, enroll in my music production program called EDM Bootcamp. This program offers a structured path to learning music production, and also comes with access to my inner circle where you can send me your music for feedback whenever you would like.Click here to enroll in EDM Bootcamp