Your constant search for “better” ideas is probably holding you back from finishing what you are working on. The fact of the matter is that this is just another form of procrastination. As long as you are in the process of searching for that one magic idea, you don’t have to push your song forward. While it’s important to strive for excellence in your music, if you constantly chase after new ideas without committing to completing a project, you may find yourself stuck in a never-ending cycle of unfinished songs.
To improve as a music producer, one of the most valuable things you can do is to see your ideas through to the end. This doesn’t mean settling for mediocrity, but rather developing your problem-solving skills and pattern recognition by facing the challenges that arise during the production process. It’s crucial to understand that very few songs come together effortlessly. They often involve numerous challenges and obstacles that need to be overcome before reaching completion. Expecting and anticipating these challenges will help you approach them with a proactive mindset instead of becoming discouraged when things get tough.
Remember, it’s completely normal to encounter difficulties when making music, regardless of your level of experience. Even seasoned professionals face challenges throughout their creative journey. In fact, it would be abnormal not to face tough hurdles when working on music. So instead of beating yourself up or feeling discouraged, embrace these challenges as opportunities for growth and learning.
As you progress as a producer, your tastes will evolve, and you’ll start noticing intricate details in music that you didn’t hear before. This constant pursuit of new levels of mastery and creativity means that the challenges you encounter will continue to evolve as well. What separates beginners from experienced producers is not the absence of challenges but rather the complexity of the problems they tackle.
If you find yourself stuck with a song that isn’t coming together or lacking inspiration, one effective approach is to strip it back to its initial essence. Take a step back and listen to the core idea that initially inspired you. Isolate the main elements that resonated with you and try building the song around them again, but this time, do it slowly and deliberately. By adding instruments and layers back into the arrangement gradually, you can experiment with different sounds and arrangements to see what works best. This method allows you to reconnect with the initial spark of inspiration and rebuild the song in a way that aligns with your creative vision.
Sometimes, the problem lies in the groove and the sounds being used. If the initial idea isn’t working, try exploring different drum loops or rhythmic patterns to inject new energy into your track. A well-crafted drum loop can provide the foundation and drive that a song needs to come alive. Additionally, listening to other songs in your desired style can serve as a valuable source of inspiration. Analyze the arrangements, sound choices, and production techniques used in those songs to gain insights that you can apply to your own music.
Ultimately, the key to finishing songs you are happy with lies in perseverance and a willingness to face challenges head-on. Embrace the journey of problem-solving and be patient with yourself. Understand that creating music is a continuous learning process, and each completed song contributes to your growth as a producer. So, instead of constantly seeking that elusive perfect idea, focus on honing your skills, embracing challenges, and seeing your projects through to completion. By doing so, you’ll not only finish more songs but also improve as a music producer along the way.
Here are a few things that can help when you are facing challenges:
- Develop a routine: Establishing a regular production schedule can be immensely helpful in overcoming creative blocks and finishing songs. By showing up at the same time as regularly as possible, it will train your brain to get into creative problem solving mode. You brain will start to notice patterns to your consistent challenges & once you’ve pushed through a few times, will become almost automatic.
- Embrace limitations: Sometimes, having too many options can be overwhelming and hinder your progress. Try to get good at a few essential tools & instruments, so you aren’t distracted by new shiny toys. When in production mode, you should be pretty familiar with your essential tools & have less need to reach for something new. You can set a separate session for those experimentations.
- Take breaks: Sometimes, stepping away from a project for a short period can do wonders for your productivity and creativity. When you feel stuck or frustrated, give yourself permission to take a break. Also, try to end your session on a high, so you are excited about the next session. Much better than pushing yourself to burnout.
- Celebrate small victories: Instead of solely focusing on the end goal of finishing a song, learn to appreciate and celebrate the small victories along the way. Completing a challenging section, coming up with a catchy melody, or nailing a mix are all accomplishments worth acknowledging. Recognizing and celebrating these milestones will boost your confidence, motivation, and overall enjoyment of the creative process.Remember that almost all great songs started out as average ideas at best. Your real work is getting better at developing those simple ideas. Stay consistent & finish what you start!
With that said, if you are benefiting from these posts, you will absolutely love my 2 bestselling books:
The Mental Game of Music Production
The Process for Electronic Music Producers
You can also Check out the: Ableton Courses & Instruments
If you are looking for personal guidance with your music production or Ableton, you can set up a free chat with me to go over exactly what your best next steps are to create the best music of your life. If it seems like a good fit, we can move forward from there. https://musicsoftwaretraining.com/private-coaching
Happy music making!