Actually Finishing a Track

It seems impossible for me to finish anything…I’ll make a great bass or drop or melody and maybe flesh out like a 32 bar hook, and then be completely unable to make any kind of intro or bridge or anything. Or I’ll get a great intro and build but then can’t find a suitable drop for it. It’s beyond frustrating! I get so sidetracked doing other things i abandon things that I probably could get signed…

What are your tips for finishing things? I’ve been told to “finish everything, even the shit ones”, but that’s about it…also it would be great if someone could give me some tips on drop arrangement.

i would say a good advice could be to stop thinking in terms of writing a track having to obey some formula, not every tune needs to have an intro, a drop, a bridge or what have you

or maybe just listen how the tracks from artists you likeare built. what elements does it have? when are they brought in? how many bars before a change is introduced? and try to use that has an inspiration to build a track from one of those 32 bars loop you have?


Thanks, that great advice :raised_hands:

I forget who it was, but I remember reading an interview with a producer where he says something like “tunes are never really finished, just abandoned”.

That’s kind of how I feel, idk when a track is really finished vs. good enough…there isnso much more that could be done on every part.

literally just “study” song structures. take your favourite tracks and copy them 1:1. make sure u choose a track you can feasibly recreate with your skill level.

1 BigUp

a tip Wub always used to bring out that helped me a lot was ‘Prioritize basic structure + the shape of song over sound design’ especially in the early stages of a project.

Its so easy to make a nice little 32 like you described then spend the next 3 hours twiddling with snare EQs/getting the sub to sit right whatever.

It can become good practice to think of your sounds as placeholder sounds for the moment, so even if your snare sounds puny for ages, if you can bash through creating the structure of the tune and get that flowing right early on the rest of the twiddlier elements will be much easier to slot in

1 BigUp

Yeah that’s what I’ve been trying at. If I don’t do that I get bored with the track way before Its finished…

This. I don’t always write out the entire structure first, but doing it like…every third song reinforces the importance of composition and arrangement. if you are inspired by sound design, great. come up with a patch, then stop and structure a track around it. I also find it helps to just figure out a chord progression as you can then write all the melody and bass you need from that.

Thanks guys for the tiiips I managed to finish one of my old projects today, first song I’ve finished in like a year

Same problem here haha, aslo thought about looking at others tracks and maybe remaking them, but i’m never able to figure out the melody and chords and stuff, Is that because i’m not really familliar with music theory and stuff?
Also next month im getting piano lessons, hopefully that will do the job. Or not?

Piano lessons will help a ton, I wish I had done them when I was little

I tend to use parts of unfinished new tracks in unfinished old tracks and vis versa.
Once I’ve got a hook I’m happy with, I start breaking the drum loops down into core elements and structure the track around the progression of the beat. Then again, I think I tend use too many drum elements, so it depends on how you make tracks.
Main focus on an intro is setting a basis for tempo and key and just letting the track roll out from there. Don’t want it too long, don’t want it too stagnant, not too dramatic either because the drop won’t sound like a drop.
You might have to play piano for a very long time before you can sit there and just pick chords apart. Definitely take the lessons though because they can be useful just for playing tracks, but really “not being able to figure out melodies and chords” is about patience. Just gotta sit down and seriously take the time to develop the ear, which can be done without piano lessons.

1 BigUp

@calamity @Stuff_iain_ttryingto Thanks really helpful!! and about developing that ear are there ways to do that? Because I just don’t have that ear, even the simplest melodies are almost impossible to remake for me and its pretty frustrating!

You have to insist on remaking them. Listening to chord progressions and re-making the chord one note at a time, you just have to keep practicing. Nobody just knows how to do that, they have to learn.

1 BigUp

A good way to start is to try remaking Chris Brown melodies. They are all usually single note melodies with no chords but it gives you a good idea of what notes sound nice in conjunction.

1 BigUp

Are you quoting Mr. Bill’s “Settling for Mediocrity”? It’s pretty much my favorite album ever.

I just don’t think about making a track, like I’ll go in, probably with a planned drum beat and just with the flow from there. If I go into the daw with a plan of what I want to make, I’ll eventually make half of it and get bored and can’t be asked to finish it.

Don’t even force yourself. A good tune will finish itself.

Literally the hardest thing to do, I just finished a track that I started in january…

but yeah, I think just writing good rhythms and melody with basic sounds/presets and dig into sound design later might be a good way to get shit done.