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-   -   Not finishing songs (http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1580667)

satchfan9 01-01-2013 07:26 PM

Not finishing songs
 
I have this huge problem that I don't usually finish songs. My preference is instrumentals, but I have some vocal stuff too. As of now I have:
3vocal songs
1instrumental piece(a two handed tapping, etude kinda thing)
My friends say I'm too perfectionist. I usually have the intro and verse, but chorus stops me, like a huge wall.

I read an article here called Passion over Perfection(or something similar), but the thing is that I'm not giving up the Passion, it's there but while trying to make one song another idea comes and adds more to the pile. I have some 30/40 ideas already, but have just stayed blank. What can I do?

bangoodcharlote 01-01-2013 10:07 PM

"Few but ripe"
-Gauss (famous mathematician)

I support his position.

If you can't write a chorus, write a song that doesn't have a chorus.

Write down all of your ideas; I suggest PowerTab, GuitarPro, TuxGuitar, or some similar program. You'd be surprised how much you'll tear apart old songs and combine the parts to make new songs -- perhaps even entire songs.

food1010 01-01-2013 10:21 PM

If you're ideas don't flow, they don't flow. Don't force it.

I like what bangoodcharlote said, if you can't come up with a chorus, make a song without a chorus.

bangoodcharlote 01-01-2013 10:32 PM

I should add that writing a song that lacks a chorus is probably harder than writing one that does have a chorus (depending on what you listen to, which I'll assume is rock since your username refers to Satch). A chorus is quite natural. It's a repeating motif that unifies the song, and it's often where the title appears. An instrumental chorus is completely valid, too. I think that this is done very well in Fade to Black.

satchfan9 01-02-2013 11:11 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by bangoodcharlote
I should add that writing a song that lacks a chorus is probably harder than writing one that does have a chorus (depending on what you listen to, which I'll assume is rock since your username refers to Satch). A chorus is quite natural. It's a repeating motif that unifies the song, and it's often where the title appears. An instrumental chorus is completely valid, too. I think that this is done very well in Fade to Black.

Yes instrumental Rock, sometimes I have the idea, but can't connect it with the verse, the transition is like impossible. Hadn't thought about Fade To Black, nice one.

satchfan9 01-02-2013 11:13 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by bangoodcharlote
"Few but ripe"
-Gauss (famous mathematician)

I support his position.

If you can't write a chorus, write a song that doesn't have a chorus.

Write down all of your ideas; I suggest PowerTab, GuitarPro, TuxGuitar, or some similar program. You'd be surprised how much you'll tear apart old songs and combine the parts to make new songs -- perhaps even entire songs.

Great ideas actually, thank you.

satchfan9 01-02-2013 11:18 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by food1010
If you're ideas don't flow, they don't flow. Don't force it.

I like what bangoodcharlote said, if you can't come up with a chorus, make a song without a chorus.

I play what's natural to me so it's not forcing right? But I always feel something better can come. On that line of thought, I used to do this:

If I had a chord progression I liked and couldn't write a melody, I would rearrange the strumming and what not creating a completely different thing with the same chord progression, being able to add melodies or other stuff.

GoldenGuitar 01-02-2013 11:23 AM

TS, my advice to you is not to become a composer. But seriously speaking, each composer has our own method of working through a problem like this, have you tried going through every transformation of your idea that you know of yet?

20Tigers 01-03-2013 02:02 AM

What is stopping you from writing a chorus?
Are you a creative and clever composer?
You seem to have a lot of ideas so i would think so. But unless you can focus that creative power on a particular goal/outcome then you have no control of your creative process which means it is useless.

There are many psychological reasons for writers block. Perfectionism is one of them and you have identified that as one of your problems. Now that you have identified it you have to work through that issue. Are you using "the ideas don't seem to flow" as an excuse to not write a chorus and to leave something unfinished so that you don't have to put yourself up to criticism (even self criticism)?

Recognize your procrastination for what it is.
Quote:
but the thing is that I'm not giving up the Passion, it's there but while trying to make one song another idea comes and adds more to the pile. I have some 30/40 ideas already, but have just stayed blank
What exactly are you saying here? Really think about it.

I know this line well because I have been in exactly the same position. Eventually I realized that I was merely framing my procrastination in a way that allowed me to believe I was creatively driven, even though I was not actually producing a single finished product.

By constantly moving from idea to idea you are simply putting off working on a problem that needs to be solved now in order to do something else that doesn't need to be done. That something else could in this case is a new idea but could also be, posting on UG, or making a sandwich, or going for a walk, surfing youtube etc. Whatever it is all you are doing is putting off what needs to be done now.

When you have done a bit of self examination to identify what is holding you back and what is driving your resistance to complete a piece of work, you can then start to put these underlying ideas into perspective. You can begin to see that the problems are actually a result of a completely irrational belief that has grown out of proportion. You can then start to put it aside and focus on the goals.

Confidince in your ability to come up with fresh ideas a good thing. Even better is recognizing when you are using creatively and when you are using it as a form of procrastination so that you can begin to turn this "brainstorming" function on and off when needed.

Your goal then should become to learn to focus your creative passion to solve a creative problem. I.E. write a chorus, or a prechorus to transition between the verse and chorus.

I have found the best way overcome a lot of the writer's block issues is through practiced DISCIPLINE.

Set a realistic goal. Be specific. Your goal might be a single chorus for one particular song. Make sure it is REALISTIC too. It just has to be a chorus, not the best chorus that anyone has ever heard in the history of music.

Set an appointed time on which to work on this. Maybe give yourself an hour tomorrow at 8am to write a chorus for the song.

Then follow through. And be inflexible. Do not allow yourself to be sidetracked by anything else that needs doing or any other idea no matter what. Write the chorus that is all you are doing.

Then once it's done applaud yourself for sticking to it. Feel good regardless of how good the chorus is because it's not really the quality of the chorus that matters but the ability to focus your creative efforts when you wanted to that makes the exercise a success.

This is ALWAYS the case when you finish a session. Judge your success on your ability to focus and get done what you set out to do. Do NOT focus on the quality of the work you produce only on the fact that you produced something and were able to master your own self discipline. We will let the work itself sit until tomorrow because today you will probably be too involved to analyze it clearley anyway.

The next step is to set a time the next day to sit down and analyze the chorus. To determine what you like and what you don't like. Figure out what it is about those parts that make you like or dislike them. Write it all down. Then think about ways you could make it better.

Perhaps you feel the chorus isn't quite what you want and you may want to start from scratch. That is perfectly fine it does not lessen the achievement of actually writing the chorus because your success was in the completion of doing what you set out to do regardless of the quality. So if you decide to start over you save that work as a sketch and set out to write a chorus the following day.

When you do this kind of thing you can break the process down and have a set time for a brainstorming process to work through some ideas. But you also need to be able to turn the brainstorming off and focus on a achieving a particular creative goal when you want to.

Best of Luck - Let us know how you get on.

AlanHB 01-03-2013 02:25 AM

I wouldn't say it's passion over perfection, it's a lack of experience and focus.

satchfan9 01-03-2013 08:58 AM

20Tigers, AlanHB
It's definitely that, the lack of discipline for writing, which seems to be a skill that's less developed than my technical or aural side.

I will try your idea 20Tigers I like how simple it is and that it works in phases. I'm thinking this could be developed liked technique, find the problem, alienate it, practice.


bangoodcharlote
Your idea of connecting parts helped a lot(as in I have a chorus), though I don't have a program, I write them in sheet music for storage and record myself playing them.

Thanks to all


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