How many half-finished songs or finisher ideas do you need to collect digital dust on a hard drive?
Start with a new song or a new project is easy. But being able to finish your songs and bring them into the world is much more difficult.
When inspiration comes, it’s magical. But all too often it takes months or years from that first moment to reach a master who is ready to go. In some matter, it took so long that the mere thought of this session file made me anxious.
The creative process is a constant action between too many good ideas and too few resources and motivation to see them cross the finish line. Ironically, the more songs you finish, the better your writing or production.
SoundBetter, a member of The ReverbNation market, has helped tens of thousands of artists finish their songs and albums by connecting them with the best music production talents in the world who work with them to create songs with incredible sound.
Here are 10 tips to get your songs over the finish line:
1. Set bite goals
It’s easy to get excited about a big goal, like releasing an album. But the road to big goals like this may seem overwhelming.
Instead, start with and focus on one track. And then create a goal roadmap for each game you need to mark that song as complete. For example, instead of just deciding that you want to work on your track on Tuesday, set specific goals like ” Finish intro drums and bass on Tuesday morning before noon.””
2. Have your workspace always set up and ready to go
Inspiration can disappear as quickly as it appears. If you get inspired, the last thing you want is to look for cables, connect hard drives and pedals, do your midi synchronization or tune your guitar. That’s why it’s important that your workspace is set up and operational. Keep your plugged-in devices and your instrument out of the holster and on the vocal surface.
Being able to start work easily also helps to capture the creative impulse that is so important to finish a song. We all know this feeling of getting into the zone and letting the music flow from us. Make sure you always be ready to capture that moment.
3. Let go
Some of the most famous artists in the world are incredibly productive. But their rate of release is possible only because they” let go”of perfection. They tame their inner perfectionist and create and release again and again.
No one else really hears the difference that comes from the last 5% of the settings we spend so much time on. If the song is great, it will always be great without these settings. If that’s not great, those adjustments won’t make any difference.
Try to be honest with yourself to find out if these endless settings radically change the song or if you use them as an excuse not to release the song.
4. Focus on your strengths. Outsource the rest.
If you are a singer / songwriter, why are you stuck programming a rhythm? If you’re a producer, why let your less-than-stellar mixing skills hinder you? And mastery? How many years have you spent perfecting this skill compared to a professional mastering engineer?
The music industry has always relied on specialists to collect a song. Even the most experienced artists with many huge versions continue to work with professional mixing engineers, mastering engineers and producers.
We built SoundBetter for that reason – to give musicians a resource to find the best musical and production-ready talent to get their song across the finish line and give it that professional glow. We help thousands of musicians every month connect with singers, producers, engineers and session musicians so they can get better sound versions faster.
5. Get inspired
Sometimes it’s good to stop pushing. Instead, go away and give yourself some space to get inspired. Listen to old CDs you like or check out a new Spotify playlist. Inspiration can come from anywhere and not just from music. Watch an art exhibition or watch a moving film. Sometimes listening to a song and thinking “damn is good” can make you run into the studio with a new player.
6. Limit yourself
The blessing and curse of modern recording is that you have access to an infinite amount of sounds, samples, beats and tracks. Having many options is great, but can also cause ” selection anxiety.”‘Songs can be easily written to passed away by adding more and more tracks and sounds.
If you feel overwhelmed, try to limit yourself to a sampler and plugins of one brand. Try to stifle and hide everything except the basic tracks and make them great instead of superimposing them. You will be surprised how little you need in some matter to make your song sound good.
7. Make a commitment
This sounds simple, but once you know that you have a great song in the works, you need to commit to seeing if on the finish line. This commitment can mean releasing it on ReverbNation or sending it to be mastered, but anyway, this moment of clicking “send” must look like a reality, with a difficult time you want to achieve. Doing in this industry means making your music a priority, combined with perseverance and dedication.
8. Set deadlines and talk to people
As you approach the end, you need something that will make you responsible for achieving your goals. A forced function. One of the best ways to do this is to tell your friends, family, and fans of an upcoming outing with a date. Get them excited and invested in your release, and give yourself the extra motivation to know that you’re dropping someone if you don’t meet that deadline.
I’ve seen artists work on their album forever when they don’t have deadlines, and others release music faster than ever after announcing release dates they felt obligated to.
9. Search for external comments
If you work in isolation, it is difficult to get the perspective. It’s too easy to question yourself. That’s why it’s so useful to get feedback from family and friends, as well as objective strangers.
ReverbNation has an excellent service for unbiased comments called Crowd Review. There are also SubReddits like / edmfeedback, / MusicCritique, or / ThisIsOurMusic and forums like dubstepforum.com if you are an electronic manufacturer, or Musicbanter.com
Always remember to take comments with a grain of salt. Focus on constructive review, ignore trolls, and remember that music is inherently subjective.
Working with a professional producer or session musician is another great way to get high-quality commentary on your songs from someone who knows what they are talking about and can help you improve what needs to be improved. Here are some great producers on SoundBetter.
10. Reward yourself
If you work hard and stay motivated to finish your track, you need to reward yourself. Schedule an event when you reach certain steps. Post songs or samples of songs on social media for positive reinforcement. Treat yourself to a professional mix or master or schedule a live show. Doing everything you know gives you a motivational boost when it comes to your music.
Need help to finish your song? Discover featured profiles of Grammy – winning and platinum-selling music producers ready to work with you on SoundBetter today. We are connecting ReverbNation artists with an exclusive loan of $20 for a limited time so you can get started.