philosophy of creativity - Yoda's Guide to Finishing Songs

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guitfnky
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Joined: 19 Jan 2015

Post 13 Oct 2020

if you're like me, you may have a load of good ideas you've loved briefly, and long since forgotten, just sitting on your hard drive, unfinished. I still have a lot of that, but I've also figured out how to be more efficient at finishing songs. in this one, I talk about taking the first step to pushing past 4/8-bar syndrome and getting some of those ideas into a finished state. as usual, I start out from a more philosophical point of view in this one, and in future videos, we'll dive into some real-world techniques and ideas on the topic. enjoy!



fun fact: this wasn't inspired by MrFigg's recent thread, I swear :lol:--this one has been in the works for a couple of weeks now.

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Billy
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Joined: 09 Dec 2016

Post 13 Oct 2020

Finished you say.
:ignition: :reason: :refill: :re: :rebirth: :PUF_figure: :nektar: :mac: :EiEPro: :Alesis Mk2:

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MrFigg
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Post 13 Oct 2020

guitfnky wrote:
13 Oct 2020


fun fact: this wasn't inspired by MrFigg's recent thread, I swear :lol:--this one has been in the works for a couple of weeks now.
So now I’m getting idea royalties from both RS and from you. All cheques payable to MrFigg and made out to cash. Thanks :).
丰2ॐ

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guitfnky
Posts: 2696
Joined: 19 Jan 2015

Post 13 Oct 2020

MrFigg wrote:
13 Oct 2020
guitfnky wrote:
13 Oct 2020


fun fact: this wasn't inspired by MrFigg's recent thread, I swear :lol:--this one has been in the works for a couple of weeks now.
So now I’m getting idea royalties from both RS and from you. All cheques payable to MrFigg and made out to cash. Thanks :).
you can absolutely have 100% of $0. :lol:

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Oquasec
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Joined: 05 Mar 2017

Post 13 Oct 2020

This is some useful insights

TritoneAddiction
Posts: 2658
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Location: Sweden

Post 13 Oct 2020

I definitely do music in smaller chunks. Having the goal of "finishing a song" is just overwhelming and I'm unlikely to even get started. Instead when I open Reason to work on a song it could be anything from 3 minutes to an 1 hour, whatever I feel like in the moment. Every time I make any change or add something new to a song I save a new file. This last track I made took me around 40 "sessions/saves". In those sessions it could be anything from writing a new melody, changing a couple of note choices, finding a kick drum sound, adjusting the volume on an instrument. It could as little as changing the EQ on a hihat 1 dB. I've literally had those kind of "sessions", opened Reason raised the volume on a cymbal, pressed save and that was the end of that session. Sometimes I don't even have the discipline to change what I hear in my head, instead I make a note in TMA-Commentator, "Try sidechain on bass", "Add melodic variation in the second vers" etc.
Brick by brick. 5 minutes here, 15 minutes there. Things start to add up. And before you know it you're sitting there with a complete track, fully arranged, mixed and mastered.

This "bit by bit"-method has worked well for me, especially in the last year when my creative self discipline started to go down. In fact I've finished more tracks doing things this way than when I had more discipline.

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MrFigg
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Joined: 20 Apr 2018

Post 13 Oct 2020

guitfnky wrote:
13 Oct 2020
MrFigg wrote:
13 Oct 2020


So now I’m getting idea royalties from both RS and from you. All cheques payable to MrFigg and made out to cash. Thanks :).
you can absolutely have 100% of $0. :lol:
I’m going to need an advance on that.
丰2ॐ

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guitfnky
Posts: 2696
Joined: 19 Jan 2015

Post 13 Oct 2020

TritoneAddiction wrote:
13 Oct 2020
I definitely do music in smaller chunks. Having the goal of "finishing a song" is just overwhelming and I'm unlikely to even get started. Instead when I open Reason to work on a song it could be anything from 3 minutes to an 1 hour, whatever I feel like in the moment. Every time I make any change or add something new to a song I save a new file. This last track I made took me around 40 "sessions/saves". In those sessions it could be anything from writing a new melody, changing a couple of note choices, finding a kick drum sound, adjusting the volume on an instrument. It could as little as changing the EQ on a hihat 1 dB. I've literally had those kind of "sessions", opened Reason raised the volume on a cymbal, pressed save and that was the end of that session. Sometimes I don't even have the discipline to change what I hear in my head, instead I make a note in TMA-Commentator, "Try sidechain on bass", "Add melodic variation in the second vers" etc.
Brick by brick. 5 minutes here, 15 minutes there. Things start to add up. And before you know it you're sitting there with a complete track, fully arranged, mixed and mastered.

This "bit by bit"-method has worked well for me, especially in the last year when my creative self discipline started to go down. In fact I've finished more tracks doing things this way than when I had more discipline.
that’s an interesting method, to make saves at every step. so what happens when you actually put the finishing touches on something? do you keep all the legacy saves or clear them out to make space for something new? I think it would be super interesting (sometimes cringeworthy) if I could go back that far and hear some of my songs in their infancy.

it’s kind of funny, but the small chunks method is actually something I never really figured out in my music. I’d decided to finally write the book I’d always told myself I would, and it was really obvious very early on that I had to go that route or I’d burn out and give up. as I worked on that, I started applying the same methods to my music and began to finish things much more consistently.

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guitfnky
Posts: 2696
Joined: 19 Jan 2015

Post 13 Oct 2020

MrFigg wrote:
13 Oct 2020
guitfnky wrote:
13 Oct 2020


you can absolutely have 100% of $0. :lol:
I’m going to need an advance on that.
:lol: the check’s in the mail, my friend!

TritoneAddiction
Posts: 2658
Joined: 29 Aug 2015
Location: Sweden

Post 13 Oct 2020

guitfnky wrote:
13 Oct 2020
TritoneAddiction wrote:
13 Oct 2020
I definitely do music in smaller chunks. Having the goal of "finishing a song" is just overwhelming and I'm unlikely to even get started. Instead when I open Reason to work on a song it could be anything from 3 minutes to an 1 hour, whatever I feel like in the moment. Every time I make any change or add something new to a song I save a new file. This last track I made took me around 40 "sessions/saves". In those sessions it could be anything from writing a new melody, changing a couple of note choices, finding a kick drum sound, adjusting the volume on an instrument. It could as little as changing the EQ on a hihat 1 dB. I've literally had those kind of "sessions", opened Reason raised the volume on a cymbal, pressed save and that was the end of that session. Sometimes I don't even have the discipline to change what I hear in my head, instead I make a note in TMA-Commentator, "Try sidechain on bass", "Add melodic variation in the second vers" etc.
Brick by brick. 5 minutes here, 15 minutes there. Things start to add up. And before you know it you're sitting there with a complete track, fully arranged, mixed and mastered.

This "bit by bit"-method has worked well for me, especially in the last year when my creative self discipline started to go down. In fact I've finished more tracks doing things this way than when I had more discipline.
that’s an interesting method, to make saves at every step. so what happens when you actually put the finishing touches on something? do you keep all the legacy saves or clear them out to make space for something new? I think it would be super interesting (sometimes cringeworthy) if I could go back that far and hear some of my songs in their infancy.

it’s kind of funny, but the small chunks method is actually something I never really figured out in my music. I’d decided to finally write the book I’d always told myself I would, and it was really obvious very early on that I had to go that route or I’d burn out and give up. as I worked on that, I started applying the same methods to my music and began to finish things much more consistently.
I always keep every save. Why not? I have more than enough space on my hard drives.

Just for fun. Here's my latest track. I'll keep the demo version up on Soundcloud for a day or two. Then I'll remove it.

First save of Demolition Blues


Save number 40 (finished track)


Hasn't changed a thing right? :D

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Aosta
Posts: 439
Joined: 26 Jun 2017

Post 13 Oct 2020

Even your favourite musician's track ever or the most polished song in the world came from someone making one sound or playing one note. If you can see the progression from one to the other as a single whole thing then you have it made, it is just unfortunate that it may take thousands of separate decisions to do it that can trip us up.
Tend the flame

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guitfnky
Posts: 2696
Joined: 19 Jan 2015

Post 13 Oct 2020

TritoneAddiction wrote:
13 Oct 2020
guitfnky wrote:
13 Oct 2020


that’s an interesting method, to make saves at every step. so what happens when you actually put the finishing touches on something? do you keep all the legacy saves or clear them out to make space for something new? I think it would be super interesting (sometimes cringeworthy) if I could go back that far and hear some of my songs in their infancy.

it’s kind of funny, but the small chunks method is actually something I never really figured out in my music. I’d decided to finally write the book I’d always told myself I would, and it was really obvious very early on that I had to go that route or I’d burn out and give up. as I worked on that, I started applying the same methods to my music and began to finish things much more consistently.
I always keep every save. Why not? I have more than enough space on my hard drives.

Just for fun. Here's my latest track. I'll keep the demo version up on Soundcloud for a day or two. Then I'll remove it.

First save of Demolition Blues


Save number 40 (finished track)


Hasn't changed a thing right? :D
that's really freaking cool--thank you for posting! love the new version (I commented on in your thread for it), but the original is still really cool. this is the kind of stuff that's really interesting for me to see. :thumbs_up:

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guitfnky
Posts: 2696
Joined: 19 Jan 2015

Post 13 Oct 2020

Aosta wrote:
13 Oct 2020
Even your favourite musician's track ever or the most polished song in the world came from someone making one sound or playing one note. If you can see the progression from one to the other as a single whole thing then you have it made, it is just unfortunate that it may take thousands of separate decisions to do it that can trip us up.
totally! a journey of a thousand miles...you know the rest. just a bunch of steps along the way--countless decisions that get us where we're going. :)

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