If you’re anything like me, you probably have about 50 unfinished songs lying around in voice memos and scribbled notes at any point in time.
I get it, not all of your ideas are golden. And that’s totally fine! Part of being creative is knowing when to stick with an idea and when to throw an idea out.
But I find a lot of my songwriting students take this to the extreme – The end up starting song after song, but never finish any of them. They think ALL of their ideas are not worth turning into a complete song.
So this post is for all you “starters” out there: finish your songs.
"Finishing" is a skill. It takes practice.
Writing a great hook is a skill. Writing chord progressions is a skill. Writing melodies is a skill.
So is finishing a song.
When leave your songs unfinished, you’ve practiced your hook-writing muscle, your chord progression muscle, your melody muscle, but you’ve never practiced finishing.
So what is finishing?
Finishing a song is putting all the pieces together.
It’s looking at your entire song as a whole and checking for weak links.
It’s making sure the song flows well, with seamless transitions.
Finishing a song is keeping the tense and voice consistent.
It’s ensuring the song makes sense to your listener.
It’s giving your song the best possible structure, without being hard to follow or overly repetitive.
It’s making sure the song is the appropriate length.
It’s getting feedback on your song and seeing how an audience responds to it.
If you never practice your “finishing” muscle, you won’t know how to finish when the right hook comes along. So don’t wait until you have the best hook ever to practice your “finishing” muscle. Lower your standards and just finish the damn thing. Even if it doesn’t turn out to be your greatest hit, it’s practice.
So I dare you: pick a song, and finish it.
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