Why can't I finish a track?
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Old 21-05-2012, 09:02 PM   #1
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Why can't I finish a track?

Does anyone else have this problem where they will get about 2/3rds through a track then become disinterested and unable to finish it?

I have this problem every time I have a load of unfinished tracks and nothing I'm truely happy with.

Is anyone else finding it hard to finish tracks or is it just me. I mean I could have all the equipment under the sun and still find it impossible to finish anything.

I also think its coz I only get like 2 hour sessions on it.

Feedback please?

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Old 21-05-2012, 09:11 PM   #2
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Re: Why cant I finish a track

ADD? I dunno man... kinda hard to help with stuff like this. I used to never come back to anything after the first session...but I finally started forcing myself to come back to tracks again and again and have been happy with the result. You just have to force yourself to do it.

To me, expecting something to sound decent in two hours, especially for a beginner, seems unrealistic. If you are stopping after two hours because your tunes don't sound good enough to you or won't come back to them later because they don't sound good enough it seems to me you have two options: 1. Push through that shit and put some serious time into a tune; 2. Quit.

Personally I spend the first two hours just working on the basic hook/melody and maybe getting the basics of the beat down. All the tracks of mine I love the most I spent 40+ hours on.

I'm not trying to be an ass at all, but I feel like I was once in your position and my advice based on my experience is cowboy the fuck up or go home.

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Old 21-05-2012, 09:12 PM   #3
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Re: Why cant I finish a track

Dont worry about it man. I think everyone on here goes through that.
For every track i finish i reckon I start 5. When i started producing i felt the same and someone on here gave me the advice to just write 3 minute tracks to get used to finishing them. Give that a try until you feel you can move on to a full length track.

Hope this helps dude

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Old 21-05-2012, 09:16 PM   #4
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Re: Why cant I finish a track

Because they aren't good enough. Make it until you go "shit....this is good" then continue to work on it. I'm not trying to offend you its just, not every painting is gonna be a masterpiece. Creativity pops its head in if you are persistent. But referring to your post, a 2 hour session could be a hinderance, I usually do about 6-7 hour sessions if I'm gonna work on music.

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Old 21-05-2012, 09:37 PM   #5
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Re: Why cant I finish a track

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Originally Posted by Muonos View Post
Because they aren't good enough. Make it until you go "shit....this is good" then continue to work on it. I'm not trying to offend you its just, not every painting is gonna be a masterpiece. Creativity pops its head in if you are persistent. But referring to your post, a 2 hour session could be a hinderance, I usually do about 6-7 hour sessions if I'm gonna work on music.

Sometimes you just cant push through finishing a track. Be it beacause you have run out of ideas or are not feeling the track anymore. Does not mean its not good enough, thats total rubbish!! Maybe leave the unfinished tracks for a week or two then come back to it. You will most probably find you then have new ideas for it and a fresh perspective.

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Old 21-05-2012, 09:39 PM   #6
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Re: Why cant I finish a track

Plus 2 hr sessions are not a hinderance. I have wrote and mixed tracks in that and know alot of people who have done amazing things in 2hrs.

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Old 21-05-2012, 09:40 PM   #7
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Re: Why cant I finish a track

this is a stupid problem

if you want to do something you do it, there's no 'ooh why can't I finish this track?' You can't finish it because you're not working on it.

and if you find you're not finishing anything at all, maybe it's because you're working on the wrong things.

either way, you don't create things by asking why you haven't finished creating something. You do it by creating something. so get to work.
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Old 21-05-2012, 09:41 PM   #8
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Re: Why cant I finish a track

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Originally Posted by AndyKneale View Post
Sometimes you just cant push through finishing a track. Be it beacause you have run out of ideas or are not feeling the track anymore. Does not mean its not good enough, thats total rubbish!! Maybe leave the unfinished tracks for a week or two then come back to it. You will most probably find you then have new ideas for it and a fresh perspective.
If you get bored of it, the listener most certainly will.

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Old 21-05-2012, 09:44 PM   #9
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Re: Why cant I finish a track

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If you get bored of it, the listener most certainly will.
Again rubbish!!!! If i happened to write a swedish house mafia track I would most certainly not be feeeling it. But there are countless people who would enjoy it.

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Old 21-05-2012, 09:46 PM   #10
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Re: Why cant I finish a track

I have such a period at the moment. I haven't finished a track for a little more then one year. It is not that I haven't got ideas. It is the other way arround. And last year I have been discovering new styles (for me) in EDM. I start a track. Make it half way or more. Suddenly gets inspiration from something else and starts a new track and so on. I have been making electronic music for a bit over 15 years now so its not that I haven't ever finished a track but it comes and goes. One year I finish 20-30 songs and the next just a couple of songs. Just never give up. And if you are new to this., do not care if your first 100 songs sounds crappy as hell.

Last edited by Northtribe; 21-05-2012 at 10:24 PM..

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Old 21-05-2012, 09:46 PM   #11
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Re: Why cant I finish a track

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Again rubbish!!!! If i happened to write a swedish house mafia track I would most certainly not be feeeling it. But there are countless people who would enjoy it.
Why would I make music I'm not feeling?

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Old 21-05-2012, 09:53 PM   #12
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Re: Why cant I finish a track

Haha its good to hear that people have the same problems as I do. I guess because I havent a full understanding on music production yet it also hinders my being able to finish something. I only really ever have 2 hours to put into a track having a two year old and a pregnant partner. But I see what everyone is saying. You just have to push through it and work at it to get it finished. I think its because I havent actually finished one yet thats why I am finding it so hard. Its almost like I dont know how.

I am finding your input very helpful though even if it is just giving me a kick up the backside.

Cheers all I shall continue slogging through the hard start to get to a finish.
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Old 21-05-2012, 09:57 PM   #13
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Re: Why cant I finish a track

Other than what the people above me said, which I agree with. No one can help you jump that hurdle. You'll just have to find some way that benefits your process.

These are things I do below:

If you can listen to music outside of your workspace, I'd suggest exporting what you have. I tend to upload stuff to soundcloud and private it. Then I just jam out all day to stuff I'm working on. I've even been at work theory crafting my mixes and little things I don't think about while I'm at my work area.

It also gives me a chance to listen to it in a different thought process and earphones.

Now I'm not saying things I make are awesome or many if any people would listen to, but I'm having fun.

Also, I found Reason difficult to work with. It was fun playing with their modular style system but I couldn't get productive with it. You might even try some other DAWs, I love Ableton for nothing else than it's session view. I get to build as many clips of whatever I'm doing, and just use it as a rough draft to my arrangement. I'm not trying to make you change, but you might find another DAW, that would better assist your workflow. But that in itself is an expensive change.

And if you can't finish something, it doesn't mean you wasted your time, you can recycle instruments and whatever. I will sometimes, just keep the instruments, effects and drums. Then reboot everything else.

Hopefully something someone has said will click, and nudge you over the fence.

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Old 21-05-2012, 09:59 PM   #14
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Re: Why cant I finish a track

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Originally Posted by relic View Post
ADD? I dunno man... kinda hard to help with stuff like this. I used to never come back to anything after the first session...but I finally started forcing myself to come back to tracks again and again and have been happy with the result. You just have to force yourself to do it.

To me, expecting something to sound decent in two hours, especially for a beginner, seems unrealistic. If you are stopping after two hours because your tunes don't sound good enough to you or won't come back to them later because they don't sound good enough it seems to me you have two options: 1. Push through that shit and put some serious time into a tune; 2. Quit.

Personally I spend the first two hours just working on the basic hook/melody and maybe getting the basics of the beat down. All the tracks of mine I love the most I spent 40+ hours on.

I'm not trying to be an ass at all, but I feel like I was once in your position and my advice based on my experience is cowboy the fuck up or go home.
Oh I'm never going to quit dont worry bout that just feel a bit like I have only just touched the tip of the iceburg when it comes to producing music. I am quite a creative person in general and with other things I like to see them finished I am just finding it much harder with music. I think its partly because I havent any one to share it with you know someone who can come in my studio (room) and be like hey I love that bit but it would be better if you did.... know what I mean?

Thanks for the help though
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Old 21-05-2012, 10:12 PM   #15
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Re: Why cant I finish a track

Captalize on moments of inspiration, lay it down or do the work when you get this sudden burst of energy - this is the best time to do it so seize it.

With that said, know that you're going to have to work when you're uninspired as well. Just push through it or wind up with another unfinished track.

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Old 21-05-2012, 10:14 PM   #16
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Re: Why cant I finish a track

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Originally Posted by avd333 View Post
Oh I'm never going to quit dont worry bout that just feel a bit like I have only just touched the tip of the iceburg when it comes to producing music. I am quite a creative person in general and with other things I like to see them finished I am just finding it much harder with music. I think its partly because I havent any one to share it with you know someone who can come in my studio (room) and be like hey I love that bit but it would be better if you did.... know what I mean?

Thanks for the help though
I can relate to this quite a bit. What I have learnt, at least about myself, is that the creative process can't be rushed. Some people work better with deadlines, but I can tell you that they don't work in everybodys favour. I Just now finished a track that I have been working on for about 4 months. Within that time, I could have technically finished it about 3 times, because the track has been through 3 complete transformations, but only now am I COMPLETELY satisfied with the result, and now I can say it's finished.

Long story short, if I had rushed to 'finish' the track, it wouldn't be nearly as good.

Something else I have learnt is that you have to conquer ALL of your fears about producing. Do you avoid percussion because you aren't sure where to start? Do you avoid making the switch to arrangement view cause you are more familiar with session view. The more things you know how to do, and the more you learn, the easier it becomes to stay motivated. And if you lose interest in your track for a week, so be it! don't beat yourself up for it. Take a break, listen to your favorite music, replenish your inspiration. Creativity and motivation comes in waves for many people. The best work comes from those who don't rush it.

Oh, and when you feel like your on one of those creative, motivated waves, take FULL advantage of it, and put in work.

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Old 21-05-2012, 10:24 PM   #17
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Re: Why cant I finish a track

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Originally Posted by relic View Post

Personally I spend the first two hours just working on the basic hook/melody and maybe getting the basics of the beat down. All the tracks of mine I love the most I spent 40+ hours on.

I'm not trying to be an ass at all, but I feel like I was once in your position and my advice based on my experience is cowboy the fuck up or go home.
I gotta agree with you here. I had no idea that it would take that long to be 100% satisfied with a track, but honestly 40+ hours is realistic, atleast in my experience. Any less and you can almost garauntee the track hasn't reached its full potential.

That amount of time for one track may sound daunting but, when you start to develop your own work flow better, and start to learn about how you work, you will learn how to keep yourself motivated.

one more tip, export what you have and put it on your ipod or on a cd, then every time you drive around, listen to that track and put notes on your phone or on paper about what you want to change. You would be surprised the ideas you can come up with when your not thinking too hard about it.
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Old 21-05-2012, 10:27 PM   #18
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Re: Why cant I finish a track

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Originally Posted by AndyKneale View Post
Again rubbish!!!! If i happened to write a swedish house mafia track I would most certainly not be feeeling it. But there are countless people who would enjoy it.
hahaha good analogy. And true, thats why you gotta leave it and come back with fresh ears and fresh ideas.
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Old 21-05-2012, 11:04 PM   #19
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Re: Why cant I finish a track

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Originally Posted by avd333 View Post
Oh I'm never going to quit dont worry bout that just feel a bit like I have only just touched the tip of the iceburg when it comes to producing music. I am quite a creative person in general and with other things I like to see them finished I am just finding it much harder with music. I think its partly because I havent any one to share it with you know someone who can come in my studio (room) and be like hey I love that bit but it would be better if you did.... know what I mean?

Thanks for the help though
Yea. I get you man. Best advice I can give you is get on the listening booth or sound cloud or where ever and start networking w people and find some folks willing to give you feed back. It can be tough...but you'll find a lot of people in your position looking for feed back too. PM me if you need someone to take a listen!

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Old 22-05-2012, 12:08 AM   #20
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Re: Why cant I finish a track

I can't post links here because I am under 30 posts. But check out ill-gates tutorials on work flow. Although he is glitch hop producer, his ideas translate well across the board. It's more to do with creativity and the psychological processes artists go through. Really well put together and useful for any artists or creative people.

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