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Can't Finish Songs -_-

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So I always get these musical ideas, but I can never like, make complete songs out of them...Any ideas/suggestions/help? I'm not really looking for specific advise, though if you have it, go for it, but more general advice on how to make a cohesive, entire song?




Please be gentle, I'm NOT a piano player! My instrument is the saxophone! I play barely a little piano on the side, and making a decent piano recording where I don't fuck up horrendously is extremely difficult.

So what do you do when you get a melodic idea that's only a minute or so long??

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I have huge trouble finishing my songs too. Usually the inspiration is only enough for a few measures, then I get tired of it and want work on some other song or something else entirely. The worst part is that even when I try to pick up something I left unfinished I never seem to be able to get back into it, and every change I make is for the worse. I wish I could help you. I'll check this thread later to see if anyone else has some solution.

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I think your problems arise because you're lacking a coherent structure. It seems that through most of the tracks, you're stringing multiple themes together. While yes this is an almost classical approach, it does help a bit to repeat a theme every once in a while, if not varied. For example, the first track could have been easily been longer if you repeated the second theme and then tied in a third theme. So yeah I think your main problem is structure.

If it helps, identify all your themes as you write your song with letters (A , B, A , B, C, A) and then go from there. You could even try identifying a motif in your main theme and vary it up as your piece progresses.

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In my experience, every song is different - sometimes it just comes, and other times it doesn't. When this happens to me, the biggest thing that has helped me in the past is to seek advice from others, be them from other mixers, friends, family - but generally - almost every time i do this they provide something that helps me move the song forward in some way, its not always an ending per say, but just hearing what someone has to say about a song can do wonders for your creative process. The 2nd thing I do is try to listen to other music, if I get stuck, lost, or caught up in general - I will listen to other songs to ease my mind up - sometimes listening to the same thing over and over again can be a bit numbing, especially when it's a rough Work-In-Progress. Listening to other peoples work often helps me clear my mind and regain some focus, I will come back and have some completely new ideas to try out. Lastly, sometimes i'll just take a big break and do something else, then when i come back later - i'll be able to try something else.

I know this doesn't specifically work towards helping with endings, but generally I try not to think about that when im mixing, I usually reach a point where nothing else comes - when that happens, i try to write an ending there. on the spot. Once thats done, i'll go back and look at the track in general and see if i can add, or what i can change, maybe mix things up a bit. Then as the song develops and advances, I start to change the ending more and more - fleshing things out and eventually (hopefully!) making something that sounds cohesive and finished.

I'm not sure if that helps you much, but thats how i generally go about doing endings - Also, i try not to be 'afraid' or 'hesitant' to end a song - if i feel that I'm finished.. then i'll try to come up with an ending.

On your first piano track (vgbg) I could *easily* see the song ending right where you ended it. Just find a nice resolve chord at 2:38. It's very serene and soft up until that chord.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Have you tried overdubbing saxophone over any of the piano melodies? I'm a pianist myself so I can see great potential in your music. I find it easy to flesh out ideas out of 3 or 4 note melodies. You seem to have a solid background in jazz/pop, but I suggest you take advantage of your main instrument as much as you can.

I only listened to the first track, but you definitely have distinct ideas going on (think of it as musical brainstorming). I hear potentially two or three different songs at least out of just the first track. While you could definitely make any one of those tunes into a piano solo piece, I would definitely suggest trying to add some more instruments in there, especially if piano is not your main instrument. However, definitely stick with it. I think you have a lot of potential to be an accomplished pianist as long as you keep practicing. You've definitely got some musical talent going on.

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