This is from Reddit, and user “innerstatejt”, found on the Ableton Live subreddit.
10 Reasons Finishing Songs Should Be Your 1st Priority
10 Reasons Why Finishing Songs Should Be Your Number One Priority
It’s really easy to get lost in all the details of music production, with the wealth of information that is out there. My goal is to strip things back down to their essentials, so you can put your focus back on what is important.
Read through these & see if any of these resonate with you.
Number one, (and these are not in any particular order)
Over preparation is actually a form of procrastination.
If your goal isn’t always finishing songs, then it will always be something else in the spectrum of music production and finishing songs will be put on the sidelines. It’s going to be outside of your focus because you feel like in order to get to the point of finishing songs, you have to learn all these different things. Don’t get me wrong, there are certain things that you will need to learn along the way, but it’s a lot less than what you think you need to know. Don’t let yourself get overwhelmed before you even get started.
Most of what you need to know about music production, you’re going to learn the process of actually attempting to finish songs.
As long as you keep that as your priority, everything you need to learn will show itself just at the right time. When you hit that roadblock, your goal is to push as far as you can with what you know, until you hit that roadblock & need a little bit of assistance, or you need to add a skill that you don’t already currently have. With that, you’ll probably discover that you have a lot less that you need to learn in order to finish a song than you think. It doesn’t mean that your songs are going to be perfect when you first start finishing them, but you’re going to be learning more and more about your own unique style as you go.
You’ll also be learning the things that are going to work best for you, as opposed to someone dictating specifically what you should learn or what area of music production you should dive into.
Every tool, technique or trick is something you need to learn is taking you away from the one goal of finishing songs.
If you buy yourself a controller like the Push, or if you buy a new synthesizer, or if you get a new plugin, that’s a new thing that’s in front of you that you need to learn before you’re going to allow yourself to start finishing songs, right?
So why not discover that you need a tool before you dive in and look for a tool. When you search out things to learn in advance, you are procrastinating away from the task at hand.
Much of what you think you need to know. You already do know.
Most of music production is still cut, copy paste, duplicate, delete. I mean, let’s face it, that’s what we’re doing most of the time with our production. So don’t overcomplicate it. Start searching when & only when you find a thing that you want to do, that you aren’t yet capable of. Obviously try to use your own brain to find a solution before looking for one. You might actually find a clever solution that that makes what you do more unique.
Once again, you wouldn’t know that, if you weren’t aiming towards finishing songs as a first priority,
If finishing songs is not your top priority, something else is always going to get in the way.
You’re always going to give yourself a reason to postpone the job of actually finishing what you start. Once you start that habit, it’s really difficult to get out of it and break out of it. This is a huge reason you have trouble finishing what you start.
Nobody hears what you don’t finish.
Nobody cares how much work you put into your music if you don’t finish it. If you don’t finish it, there’s no point in releasing it. If you don’t release it, there’s no point in doing it. (unless you’re one of those people that simply want to create for creation state and not share it with anyone. Even then, you still have to look at finishing songs as the peak accomplishment.)
I’m going to assume that you want to share your music and have your music heard. The music will never be heard if you don’t finish songs. So that once again should be your first priority. Number seven. And I’ve already kind of mentioned this, but you’re never going to stop learning. And you’re never going to stop feeling the need to learn more.
So anything that you put in front of finishing songs could be a lifelong journey. So isn’t it better to take that journey with finishing songs and only learn those things that are going to take your music to the next level from where you are right now?
If you’re trying to prepare yourself for everything that might come up through the process of finishing songs, it’s kind of like reading A to Z in an encyclopedia and thinking that you’re going to have access to all that information in your head when you need it. You won’t.
Much better to have the encyclopedia and when you run up against something, you look up that specific thing, you learn it, and then you get back to your task at hand.
You don’t know what is necessary to learn, until you’re in the process of finishing songs.
Some of these things overlap, I’m saying things in slightly different ways, because really important that you get this. So I don’t mind coming at things from different angles. You just don’t know what you’re going to need until you’re in the process of actually doing the work.
Your originality comes from you developing your own techniques and your own ways of doing things.
That can only happen in the process of you finishing the songs that you have in your head. Your own ideas. Finding your own solutions.
That doesn’t mean you should never look for solutions to certain things. All of us are inspired by other people and use techniques from other people.It’s a lot like recipes.Once we’ve used a recipe a certain amount of times, we can actually fine tune it to our own tastes and make it our own.
That’s the goal, when you’re doing things differently than other people, you’re going to get different results that are going to be very unique to you.
You discover what is relevant for you as you hit roadblocks.
Don’t be afraid of hitting a creative roadblock in the process of trying to finish your songs. Those road roadblocks are the pointers. Those are the things that are showing you exactly what you need to know at exactly the right time. There’s no other process you could do in music production that’s going to show you how to finish a song. If you’re not attempting to finish songs is your very first priority.
Here’s how I would approach putting this information into action.
Pick 1 song and only 1 song – It’s really important that you put your focus on only 1 song. You will have moments where you hate what you are working on. Keep going. Make the goal to finish this song, even if it’s not your favorite piece of work. Stopping when you are feeling discouraged is exactly why you hit this point with nearly every song. You’ve never pushed past this point & until you do, your brain is going to use every tactic it knows to get you to stop. Your brain doesn’t like going outside of your comfort zone but it’s only through repetition that your comfort zone expands.
Push this song forward toward completion every day – Daily practice keeps yesterday’s progress intact as resources you need to continue moving forward. If you go too long without working on your song, you will start to lose your momentum & forget many of the things you are learning along the way. This will force you to waste precious time reviewing what you previously learned, before you can move forward.
Do your best to use your own brain to solve problems before using outside resources – It’s really important to put your brain to work during this process instead of using outside information as a crutch. At the end of the day, it’s your ideas that are going to make you unique. Studying others’ work is great & everyone does it, but this should not be what you do during your music making sessions. Study the work of others on your off time & find ways to tweak those ideas in a new way.
Only when you have tapped out your current problem solving skills, set a 15 minute timer & find a solution – This is important. You have to practice discipline when searching outside information. If you don’t, you will end up getting lost in interesting but largely useless information that will do nothing to push your music forward.
When the timer goes off, get back to work – This will force you to continue using your brain and also keep you focused on the task of finishing your songs.
Don’t overwork. Stop the day’s session when you are still feeling motivated – it’s preferable to quit while you’re ahead & while you are still feeling motivated. This will lead to excitement to get back to it the following day. If you burn yourself out, the following day runs the risk of being a hell of a grind.
Remember, information without implementation is just a form of procrastination.
I hope that this gives you a little bit of clarity and helps you get your focus on what I feel is the most important thing for you to be putting your mind on. All the other stuff is going to come as you go.
Thanks for reading! If this resonates with you, make share this with your friends & any producers that could use this sort of information. It also helps me greatly & is much appreciated.
Also, don’t forget that you can read my best selling book, “The mental game of electronic music production” for free, by going to MusicSoftwareTraining.com/thementalgame. You’ll also get my Song recovery kit and my 101 Ableton tips video totally free.
If you’d like to connect with me more directly to see how I might be able to help you personally, you can schedule a free 15 minute session with me by going to MusicSoftwareTraining.com/application and answering a few quick questions.
Happy music making & I’ll speak to you real soon.