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What to do with 100 unfinished songs..?? Studio Headphones
Old 7th January 2017
  #1
Gear Maniac
 

What to do with 100 unfinished songs..??

I have at approximately 100 songs that are incomplete, in varying degrees of completeness - some are just one verse or perhaps a chorus, in some cases both, but still not arranged into a complete track.

Lots of great musical hooks, riffs and lyrics.

Mostly pop/rock genre.

What to do with them all?

NOTE: Completing them myself is not an option at this moment.
Old 8th January 2017
  #2
Gear Maniac
 

As with the other recent "what do I do with my ideas that are laying around" thread (Stopped Writing but have 100's of good tunes..what should I do?), I'm wondering what type of answer you're expecting. I think maybe I personally find threads like this interesting because I've always been intrigued by the issues surrounding the management of musical ideas, given the tendency of snippets and random unfinished bits and pieces to accumulate over time. Because of that, I always like hearing people's thoughts on that subject.

At any rate, is it an organization problem you feel like you're having? Is there some kind of software that you wish you had that would organize things better or otherwise help with your unfinished song issues? Or is it more like you just feel stuck and want somebody else to collaborate with? If it's the latter, it would probably be very helpful if you posted some kind of sample so potential collaborators could get an idea what type of stuff you do.
Old 8th January 2017
  #3
Gear Guru
 
Brent Hahn's Avatar
 

Finish the best one.
Old 10th January 2017
  #4
Gear Maniac
 

Has anyone ever read 'Making Ideas Happen' Scott Belsky? The general premise is that anyone can have an 'idea' but the real skill is following them through to completion - genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration etc. Highly recommended.
Old 10th January 2017
  #5
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Herr Weiss's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MartieFuncum View Post
Has anyone ever read 'Making Ideas Happen' Scott Belsky? The general premise is that anyone can have an 'idea' but the real skill is following them through to completion - genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration etc. Highly recommended.

Yeah, read it now!!

Free Online Books for Tomorrow's Students - Scholars - Great Minds: [Belsky, 2010] Making Ideas Happen - Overcoming the Obstacles Between Vision and Reality English Book in PDF


~HW
Old 10th January 2017
  #7
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by auxReturn View Post
I have at approximately 100 songs that are incomplete, in varying degrees of completeness - some are just one verse or perhaps a chorus, in some cases both, but still not arranged into a complete track.

Lots of great musical hooks, riffs and lyrics.

Mostly pop/rock genre.

What to do with them all?

NOTE: Completing them myself is not an option at this moment.
Are these recorded?
As that would be my first step ( i love giving the advice that I NEED MYSELF)
just a simple recording, so that you can cross reference. I expect you could link some parts together, with key changes or more importantly aggressive pruning.
Also see how some parts respond to a different tempo/rhythm
my 2c
Old 10th January 2017
  #8
Gear Nut
Make a notepad and list the filenames of all your ideas, with an additional few words to a paragraph describing each idea. It could be any thoughts, feelings, or even notes on the style of the music, or maybe even where you'd personally place the music in a movie as a cue.

This will help you to eventually organize or rearrange your ideas, and it might give you some clues on how to add more to those ideas, or combine ideas that you thought were too different to even be considered used in the same track.
Old 10th January 2017
  #9
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Unclenny's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn View Post
Finish the best one.
....using pieces from all of the rest.

Seriously.
Old 11th January 2017
  #10
Gear Maniac
 

Sure, but the OP did say pretty clearly that completing them alone is not an option. I assumed that meant s/he was fishing for collaborators, or at least for advice on how to find collaborators.
Old 11th January 2017
  #11
Gear Nut
Did OP steal some poor kids harddrive/copy his data?
Old 11th January 2017
  #12
Take 3 of them and transition them together as a complete song like McCartney did in Happiness is a Warm Gun and Band on the Run. I love those kinds of tunes.
Old 11th January 2017
  #13
finish them or send them to someone else to finish! for the right price and great material, you can hire anyone easily.
Old 12th January 2017
  #14
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mattpyter View Post
Did OP steal some poor kids harddrive/copy his data?
No mate, he didn't.



Thank you to the folks who have offered their advice so far, much appreciated.
Old 12th January 2017
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by auxReturn View Post
...

NOTE: Completing them myself is not an option at this moment.
You haven't mentioned why - I'm intrigued. Is it just a time thing, or something else?
Old 13th January 2017
  #16
Here for the gear
I have a similar situation, over 100 partially completed songs, lyrics, hundreds of riffs and beats in all stages of completion...recently I spent about 2 weeks going over everything with a fine tooth comb, and organizing them by completion status, genre, riffs organized the same way, then by intro, verse, chorus, transitional riffs, etc. Maybe they will turn out differently later, but I sure am happy I did this, and it's paying off greatly in the songwriting process. I agree with the idea that you may want to take the best stuff you can put together, and combine some of your material. I also have multiple copies of my lyrics when I make changes to them, so that I don't lose my original idea, and I can compare different versions side by side. There is no "right" way to write. (no pun intended), but there are efficient ways to maximize your workflow and organize your ideas so you aren't so overwhelmed by them. Good luck man.

Last edited by bubingaisgod; 13th January 2017 at 10:03 AM..
Old 13th January 2017
  #17
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bubingaisgod View Post
I have a similar situation, over 100 partially completed songs, lyrics, hundreds of riffs and beats in all stages of completion...recently I spent about 2 weeks going over everything with a fine tooth comb, and organizing them by completion status, genre, riffs organized the same way, then by intro, verse, chorus, transitional riffs, etc. Maybe they will turn out differently later, but I sure am happy I did this, and it's paying off greatly in the songwriting process. I agree with the idea that you may want to take the best stuff you can put together, and combine some of your material. I also have multiple copies of my lyrics when I make changes to them, so that I don't lose my original idea, and I can compare different versions side by side. There is no "right" way to write. (no pun intended), but there are efficient ways to maximize your workflow and organize your ideas so you aren't so overwhelmed by them. Good luck man.
This is a problem that many (if not most) songwriters have, but I rarely encounter anyone who is interested in talking about the nitty gritty of solutions. If you don't mind my asking, could you go into some more details about your organization system?

For example, if you keep written notes about things like beats, riffs, melodies, etc., how do you match them to the corresponding MIDI or audio clips? Do you work with the clips as loose files, or are they somehow organized in a DAW or other app?

If you remember part of a melody but don't know where it came from, do you have a way to search the ideas in your system somehow, or would you have to systematically look at every one of your ideas to find the one you're looking for? Do you have any need or capability to search for "similar" melodies or ideas?

For lyrics, how do you perform the type of version control that you mention? Do you use any kind of version control for songs as a whole?
Old 24th January 2017
  #18
Gear Maniac
 

All By Myself was written using stuff borrowed from Rachmaninoff for the verse and the chorus from one of Carmen's other songs. I guess just mash some bits together, see what works.
Old 29th January 2017
  #19
Gear Head
 
TalentFactor's Avatar
 

Find a cowriter or collaborators to work with you. Alot of the times they find the inspiration that you lost.
Go.through the tracks and make notes. If you feel they are worth finishing.. index the notes you made, if they aren't delete them or throw them away. If you can't do this, refer to the collaboration point lol
Old 5th February 2017
  #20
Gear Head
 
Oldtricks's Avatar
 

Lots of good musical..?

Most times songs that have good ideas are the ones that write/finish themselves.
Write 100 new one and finish every piece.

Good luck.
Old 6th February 2017
  #21
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vincentvangogo's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by AlcoholByVolume View Post
Take 3 of them and transition them together as a complete song like McCartney did in Happiness is a Warm Gun and Band on the Run. I love those kinds of tunes.
Or do an Abbey Road side 2 thing and join them all together to make one mega medley.
Old 8th February 2017
  #22
Gear Nut
Quote:
Originally Posted by MartieFuncum View Post
genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration
...and all the blood, sweat, and tears doesn't even have to be yours if you are rich!

(or leech off of others like so many people in this business seem to do...)
Old 8th February 2017
  #23
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Lenzo's Avatar
Have you ever finished any songs? I'm scratching my head wondering how you get to 100 and have all of them wind up unfinished.
L.
Old 8th February 2017
  #24
Gear Head
 
Oldtricks's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lenzo View Post
Have you ever finished any songs? I'm scratching my head wondering how you get to 100 and have all of them wind up unfinished.
L.
Lots of prepositions and pissing instead of B-S and Tears.
Old 8th February 2017
  #25
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lenzo View Post
I'm scratching my head wondering how you get to 100 and have all of them wind up unfinished.
Are you sure you're a songwriter? This sound like the norm to me.
Old 9th February 2017
  #26
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Lenzo's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by andrew732 View Post
Are you sure you're a songwriter? This sound like the norm to me.
I'd say just the opposite. If you start 100 songs and don't finish any of them I think one would be hard pressed to call themselves a songwriter.
L.
Old 9th February 2017
  #27
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lenzo View Post
I'd say just the opposite. If you start 100 songs and don't finish any of them I think one would be hard pressed to call themselves a songwriter.
L.
touché
Old 1st March 2017
  #28
Here for the gear
I don't know if you are referring to the OP or myself, but I have plenty of finished projects under my belt in a wide range of genres. The 100+ unfinished works are a lifetime of ideas and spontaneous riffs thrown down at the moment when they were conceived. I don't know how you could call someone who records every idea they like anything but a songwriter. Are you saying someone should just trash any idea they didn't have the time to finish the second an idea is conceived? That sounds unbelievably stupid.
Old 19th March 2017
  #29
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by auxReturn View Post
I have at approximately 100 songs that are incomplete, in varying degrees of completeness - some are just one verse or perhaps a chorus, in some cases both, but still not arranged into a complete track.

Lots of great musical hooks, riffs and lyrics.

Mostly pop/rock genre.

What to do with them all?

NOTE: Completing them myself is not an option at this moment.
These are your options that I can see, some already mentioned:

1. Find a collaborator to co-write/help complete
2. Combine them to make entire songs
3. Wait until you have the time
4. Give them to someone else to do something with
5. Just sit on them and accept that they will never amount to anything more
6. Some combo of 1-5

PS no offense, but a single verse or chorus is not itself really a "song." Sounds like you have a lot of stuff with potential though. I hope you find a way to get some to completion.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Oldtricks View Post
Most times songs that have good ideas are the ones that write/finish themselves.
Hardly. That CAN happen, but "most times" is a severe exaggeration. If that's how it goes for you, props, you're lucky; most of the time for most people, it takes varying degrees of effort/time (often a lot) to finish a song that starts out with a good idea.


Quote:
Originally Posted by bubingaisgod View Post
I don't know how you could call someone who records every idea they like anything but a songwriter. Are you saying someone should just trash any idea they didn't have the time to finish the second an idea is conceived? That sounds unbelievably stupid.
No, what's stupid is failing to grasp someone's words and then insulting what they said.

Someone who never finishes a song is not a songwriter. You actually have to write at least a song or two to be a songwriter, even in a broad sense of the word.
Old 19th March 2017
  #30
Lives for gear
 

I dont have nearly as many but certainly enough to be overwhelmed. So I've gone through them all and shelved any that are just ideas but with not fleshed out in any way. This leaves the stuff where I have at least a good idea of the instrument and form. Next I've shelved those that dont really jump out at me as being worth pursuing or are of lesser quality. Next I've decided what kind of genre I would like to focus on as I do many and this means I've shelved all but around 7 tunes all of which have a similar vibe and could be put on an album/EP.

Lastly I have shelved the idea of working on these remaining tunes simultaneously and am working on getting one done to completion from start to finish before starting a next. This has enabled me to focus a lot better and I have chosen the easiest one to complete to do first. The aim is complete all 7 tunes over the next year or two even if I can only get them to a demo quality. With a bit of luck my workflow will speed up during this process...

So yeah, whittle them down and park the ones that are just ideas, of lesser quality and are inconsistant style wise and focus on one at a time and you should hopefully end up with finished songs your happy with and an improved process for taking things to completion...

Good luck
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