In this article, I’m going to explain why you should always complete and export your song ideas and demos, ESPECIALLY when you’re not feeling confident about the direction your song is taking.
This is a follow-up to my previous article finishing songs quickly, where I emphasized the importance of creating demos swiftly and exporting them ASAP.
While this advice is great, it seems to work best when you happen to be in love with your work, riding the flow state, and everything seems to be falling into place effortlessly.
…but what about those times when your song isn’t hitting the mark, you’re getting frustrated, or when you’re thinking about throwing in the towel?
3 Key Reasons You Should Finish Your Songs When You Think They Suck
Not too long ago I was working on a track that wasn’t really clicking with me at all, seemed too challenging to “get right”, and ultimately made me want to dismiss it as garbage and move on.
However, that painful experience led me to learn (not 1 but..) 3 breakthrough songwriting secrets when it comes to the importance of pushing forward and completing even the most challenging projects.
So… why should you push through and finish & export a song demo that you feel so strongly that you will ultimately throw away or abandon in the end?
1. An Invaluable Sense of Accomplishment
By completing and exporting the track, you’ll feel a sense of accomplishment and fulfillment as an artist/musician that you just won’t get from completing a loop or limited song idea.
You won’t have wasted your time and effort, and you’ll have an audio file you can revisit later.
It’s a simple thing but I’ve found that this sense of fulfillment can be a powerful motivator as an artist that can keep you moving on to creating more and better songs.
2. An Easy “Song Revisitation” Process
Having your song in audio file format makes it effortless to revisit later since you can easily play it back on your phone, car, or laptop.
Listening to your audio demo later might lead you to discover aspects of the song worth salvaging or lead you to simply realize that you were overly critical in the heat of the moment.
Listening back after a break can often lead to fresh insights since you are less caught up in the moment and both your ears and mind have calmed down a bit.
3. Becoming a Song Finisher (..instead of just a “Song Starter”)
Most importantly, this practice trains you to be a song finisher and NOT just a song starter.
Consistently completing your projects sets the foundation for a prolific musical journey, increasing your opportunities for growth and success.
Label sign artists who can finish songs, not artists who can create short loops.
Fans fall more and more in love with an artist with each song that they hear from you.
More finished songs = More releases = More opportunities for you to reach your goals.
3 Simple Steps To Finishing Songs That You Think “Suck”
Now, let’s break down the three essential steps to tackle when you’re just not loving your work:
Step 1: Push to the 80% Mark
Strive to reach the 80% mark of your song’s completion as quickly as possible which is often the point where the song has been arranged and fleshed out a bit.
This aligns with the 80/20 rule, and it’s the fourth step in my five-step song-finishing checklist, a valuable resource you can access for free.
Step 2: Quick Mix, Master, and Export
Once you’ve reached the 80% mark and arranged your song, proceed to the final step – quick mix, master, and export.
This makes sure that you have a tangible demo that you can easily access and listen to later.
Step 3: Give It Space
Allow yourself some time away from the song: listen to it later, perhaps a day later, or in different environments.
This break can offer fresh perspectives and possibly even rekindle your creative flame.
A Personal Example Of This Demo-Finishing Process
In my personal experience working on a stubborn song, I pushed myself to finish and export my song before giving it a bit of space.
After a few hours and a leisurely walk, I revisited the song, and to my surprise, it didn’t sound as bad as I initially thought.
That spark of inspiration returned, leading me to complete the song, which I now plan to release through a proper record label.
Now It’s Your Turn
By pushing through the songwriting process, you’ll not only enhance your skills but also increase your chances of success in the music industry.
Always aim to finish, mix, master, and export your demos, even when you’re not entirely satisfied with them.
You never know what gems you might uncover in the process. 🥂