Changing One Song Forever
Every musician is probably guilty of spending a little too much time changing and rethinking one song. Maybe even to the point that a great idea just stays exactly as that for months, and never actually develops into a finished song. I've definitely done it myself in the past. I can only imagine how many songs I would have released to date if I followed through on finishing every idea. These 2 points I'm going to share with you were probably the most helpful lessons I have ever learned for actually getting things finished.
Number 1- There is no one perfect version of any song.
Simply put, any one song or idea has literally millions of different versions that would be equally as good. So when something is working and sounding great, just roll with it. Have you ever written something you really liked, and for whatever reason kept changing and altering it despite the fact that you really liked how it already sounded? You could listen to your favourite song in the world today only to find it's not really hitting you like it did yesterday. It happens. Probably just because you're in a different sort of mood right now. Does that mean the artist should have maybe held off releasing that version, and done a slightly different one that would have pleased todays mood? Or maybe even held off longer again to see how it hits people next week. Of course not!!! If you write something that you really like, the same thing can happen. You might be in a different mood another day when you hear it again, and decide to cycle through the million different versions that might please you right now. But the fact is, if you like it when you write it, it's passed the test. It sounds good. Don't spend the next five years seeing what other alterations might work too, just get it done and show that original great piece of music to the world.
Number 2- Ideas are literally worth nothing.
An idea is just an idea. It is useless to anyone until it becomes anything more. Merely a stepping stone to the finished product. Don't fall into the trap of thinking that by rounding up hundreds of ideas that you are somehow moving yourself forward in your music career. Who do you think will get further this year? The guy who has 10 great finished songs that are ready to record and be released to the world. Or the guy that has 400 incredible ideas for songs but nothing he can actually present to anyone, as he still needs to finish them. Ideas are literally worth nothing until you take action on them. If you find yourself in a position that you have tons of bits and pieces written that sound great but nothing you could play to someone from start to finish, there's your next step. I promise you that the most useful thing you could do to move yourself forward is commit to turning those little ideas into finished products. One fully finished song will be of more use to you than one million ideas that only exist in your head.
Just considering these two small things can be the difference between starting something and actually finishing it. Keep making great music!