I'm stuck with a ton of loops and I can't move forward...

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I'm stuck with a ton of loops and I can't move forward...

Postby Dabrenn » 02 Jul 2013 18:31

Have any of you ever experienced this? Have a ton of loops all along the same lines that you want to flesh out into an entire song, but had a lot of trouble making the track go somewhere?

That's my problem. I'm doing a "remix" (more of sampling to make my own song) of Vampire Weekend's Unbelievers, which is an incredible song, I may add. I like the material I have, but I'm failing at arrangement.

I made this little thing as a demo reel for my drummer friend that's going to help me make my drums more interesting. Listen if you want, but any sort of help/discussion on this issue would be wonderful, specific or not, hopefully this thread could help some of you guy's out as well, because I'm sure I'm not the only one who struggles with this.

Thanks for the read.

https://soundcloud.com/dabrenn/vampire-weekend-wip
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Re: I'm stuck with a ton of loops and I can't move forward..

Postby Motivfs » 02 Jul 2013 18:54

One thing I love to do that usually gets me in the spirit again is just mess around with my midi keyboard playing a solo melody. Now, I don't know much about this song, but you could easily break into a solo melody near the end there to continue progression.

Really though, every musician has this happen to them, not just you! I have god knows how many loops of something I thought was gold but then just lost all inspiration for and moved on from, sitting in my DAW.

It's frustrating, the best thing to do is either 1), leave it for a bit, and come back to it with a fresh mind, or 2) do what I do, play a bunch of different progressions, screw around, don't continue trying to think of some "master plan" going forward and just hope something spurts up. A lot of the time it usually happens spontaneously.
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Re: I'm stuck with a ton of loops and I can't move forward..

Postby Dabrenn » 02 Jul 2013 19:31

then just lost all inspiration for and moved on from,


I've been advised from others in the past that "just moving on" is a bad thing, saying instead that trying to finish every song you start is a good exercise.

One thing I love to do that usually gets me in the spirit again is just mess around with my midi keyboard playing a solo melody.


That's always fun, but usually leads me into firin' up a new project file and starting something from scratch again, but now that you say that there is a part that I used a melody on that I could try to flesh out, so I'll definitely give this a go and try to tie the whole thing together with something.

Thanks for the help :D
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Re: I'm stuck with a ton of loops and I can't move forward..

Postby Motivfs » 02 Jul 2013 19:50

For me, unfortunately, I do go back to them time and time again, but still, I never garner any more motivation to move on from. Of course, mine is usually an 8-16 bar loop of some awesome melody I love, yet I just can't progress from it. What you got there is better than an 8-16 bar loop. If I get passed that, usually it turns into something good. I usually won't even classify it as a WIP if that's all I have though. I'd love to be able to complete every WIP I put out though, I guess I'm not exactly at that point yet myself.

But yeah, when I mean "mess around playing with melodies", I mean mess around in the key of the song of course. otherwise you will probably lose more inspiration for what your working on and be like "Oooohh that sounded nice, lets go make another song!". Try to maintain the same key progression, throw in some extra percussion or pitch oscillation, arpeggios, plucks etc. Just make sure it still fits the idea of the song that you have so far.

EDIT: One last method I use quite a bit is I hum the melody of the song I'm working on, and I hum other melodies as I play it. This helps a ton in finding a continuing progression to properly transition the song, and move forward from the little roadblock.
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Re: I'm stuck with a ton of loops and I can't move forward..

Postby Dabrenn » 02 Jul 2013 20:27

8-16 bar loop of some awesome melody I love, yet I just can't progress from it.


Just turn it into a filter house song!

I kid I kid....

but seriously.
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Re: I'm stuck with a ton of loops and I can't move forward..

Postby Conchetupony » 02 Jul 2013 22:51

Inspiration is a thing that comes when you least expect it, simply wait for it and try to be ready to notate the ideas you'll have.

I don't agree with always finishing what you start. It'll result in an inherently boring, forced track, it'll be a PITA for you to complete - as you're not inspired, and listeners probably won't like it, due to it's forced nature (you can notice it). Nobody wins.

So, don't force song unless you want album filler. :P

And yeah, it's safe to say this happens to every musician. Myself I got about two hours worth of ideas I come up with while jamming, and few actually make it to a song.
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Re: I'm stuck with a ton of loops and I can't move forward..

Postby vladnuke » 02 Jul 2013 23:32

My problem is that I make whole songs, then decide they're shit and not touch them. I have whole piles of music on my hard drive that I will not ever upload because they simply are not quality enough.
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Re: I'm stuck with a ton of loops and I can't move forward..

Postby Lying Pink » 03 Jul 2013 13:53

Conchetupony wrote:I don't agree with always finishing what you start. It'll result in an inherently boring, forced track, it'll be a PITA for you to complete - as you're not inspired, and listeners probably won't like it, due to it's forced nature (you can notice it). Nobody wins.

I agree with this. I'd maybe suggest trying to force yourself to power through it now and again, because it's a good skill to have and it can sometimes yield good results, but yeah. Nine times out of ten leaving it for a bit (anywhere between 15 minutes and 4 years usually does the trick) and then revisiting it later usually works.

There's an old adage with writing -- when you've got writer's block it's sometimes because you've got an opportunity to take your story in a really exciting direction you weren't expecting... only you don't realise it or don't want to realise it because it'll require you to abandon your plan for the story and wade off into the unknown, which is hard and might fail. So instead you stare at your screen and wonder what the hell to do. But it's worth working through, because the end result is often awesome. I think the same is often true with music.
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Re: I'm stuck with a ton of loops and I can't move forward..

Postby ph00tbag » 04 Jul 2013 09:32

Conchetupony wrote:I don't agree with always finishing what you start. It'll result in an inherently boring, forced track, it'll be a PITA for you to complete - as you're not inspired, and listeners probably won't like it, due to it's forced nature (you can notice it). Nobody wins.

I'm on board with this. I've got megs on megs of unfinished crap floating around on one hard drive or another. If you can't finish a tune, you can't finish it. Once in a blue moon you may go back to it and be inspired to work on it again, but it's really important not to expect that, and detach yourself from the feeling that you owe it to an idea to see it through to its conclusion.
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Re: I'm stuck with a ton of loops and I can't move forward..

Postby Dabrenn » 05 Jul 2013 10:06

Yeah I can easily see where that's coming from. I didn't really mean to say it like I'm trying to force it immediately, more just get it done at some reasonable point in time.

I need to because otherwise I'd never have anything finished, so I have to force myself sometimes. Usually I'll work on multiple tracks over a long period of time so that I can put one down for a week or two, then try to finish it up.
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Re: I'm stuck with a ton of loops and I can't move forward..

Postby itroitnyah » 05 Jul 2013 10:19

If you've come to the point where you have a track that you can't continue, then end the track there and release it. Unless it's something ridiculously short like 1 min and 30 seconds, then release it. I've heard plenty of great tracks that are like 3 minutes long or a bit shorter. Now, the demo reel that you have, Dabrenn, sounds good enough to me.
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