Still having a hard time trying to finish tracks? Here’s few more words to the wise about getting those puppies completed:
Focus on the hard bit:
Spend most of your time and energy on things you aren’t strong in. For example, I’ve started recording a guide track with a just me singing and a guitar so I know that the vocals will work on top of the chords. The point is, get into doing the bit you suck at as soon as you can. Whether that be focusing on structure, making sure your sounds gel in EQ sense or focusing on sound design. Once you’ve sussed that bit, the rest of it will be easy.
Finish your track and call it a learning experience:
Worked on a track for weeks or even months and realise that you just don’t care about it anymore? It’s an experience we all go through. But you know what? Do it anyway. Finish it and put it out. Bach finished all his work and he is one of, if not, THE most highly regarded composer of all time. Once you’ve finished it and put it out you may never want to hear it again but I promise you, you will be proud that you finished it. Completing a track will give you valuable experience, not only in mixing and mastering if you self master it, but the act of completion itself will setup a valuable precedent in your mind. You’ll also have a reference point for next time, not to mention some sweet patches to call on.
Set yourself a reasonable deadline to finish tracks and decide you won’t seriously work on anything else until it’s done:
If you have a goal and decide that you’re going to have that track done by Thursday, you will get it done. Steve Jobs had a theory called a ‘reality distortion field’ that if you really need to get something done and make it the number one priority, you could do it. This certainly worked for him but remember to take this in moderation.
How many hours does it take to finish a track? It really depends on how much detail you want to put into it; if you’re just making a beat for a rapper, you could possibly churn one out in 90 minutes. Personally, I tend to spend about two and a half weeks on a track, assuming perhaps two hours a day (so maybe 30 odd hours) but it really depends. Remember if your basic structure and melody is off, it doesn’t matter how much time you sink into it.