How to Finish More Original Music

Boost your game: set clear goals, embrace imperfection, and finish strong with these mindful techniques to help finish your music.
Boost your game: set clear goals, embrace imperfection, and finish strong with these mindful techniques to help finish your music.

Starting out in music production, initiating ideas often flows effortlessly. Continuing the craft to see projects through to completion proves more challenging.

We too find ourselves stuck with folders full of unfinished tracks.

Over the years we have found a few techniques to help us wrap up projects and boost our own self-esteem.

Let’s begin by delving into a few ideas to help organize and wrap up those lingering projects.

Music Workstation


Set Clear Milestones

  • Pre-production: Be sure to have sessions that arent focused on writing a tune. We find that if we have a folder of vibey sounds from a sound design session and then bring those into a track you can have the basics in place early on and set a solid foundation for your track.

Work with Templates

Limit Your Tools

  • Master What You Have: Instead of constantly searching for new plugins and samples, focus on mastering the tools you already possess. This not only speeds up your workflow but also helps you develop a signature sound. Sometimes we like to challenge ourselves by only using DAW stock plugins, for example.

Set Time Limits

  • Stay Focused and Efficient: Allocate specific time slots for different stages of production. For example, spend two hours on sound design, one hour on arrangement, etc. Timeboxing keeps you on track and prevents overworking.

Coffee Cup

Mindful Techniques

Define Your Vision

  • Stay Inspired: Before diving into production, have a clear vision of what you want your track to sound like. Dont be afraid to use reference tracks to provide inspiration and guidance, by equally dont rely on this too much as this can be negative for your self confidence.

Embrace Imperfection

  • Progress Over Perfection: Understand that perfection can be the enemy of progress. Sometimes, good enough is all you need to move forward. Aim for completion rather than perfection.

Develop a Routine

  • Consistency is Key: Set a regular production schedule that works for you and stick to it. Over time, this habit will make finishing tracks a more natural part of your process.

Seek Feedback

  • WIP Sharing: Don’t hesitate to share your work-in-progress tracks with trusted peers or online communities. Constructive criticism can provide valuable insights and help you improve your work. Try connecting with other artists on forums, groups or Soundcloud – this is how we met as Koherent!

Mindset Shifts

  • Focus on Learning: Shift your mindset from “this must be perfect” to “this is a learning process.” Each finished track, regardless of its flaws, is a step toward mastering your craft. When we listen to many of our past music we remember things that we learnt along the way – and that can be quite rewarding in itself.

Headphones Synth

Rules to Help You Finish Tracks

  • Commit to a Track: Once you start a track, commit to finishing it before starting another. This discipline prevents a backlog of incomplete projects.
  • Work in Phases: Follow a structured approach to production, from pre-production to final touches, to maintain momentum and focus.
  • Set Deadlines: Self-imposed deadlines create a sense of urgency and help you stay on track.
  • Limit Revisions: Allow yourself a set number of revisions before considering a track complete. Constant tweaking can lead to burnout.
  • Prioritize Main Elements: Focus on finishing the core elements of your track, such as drums, bass, and lead, before fine-tuning other details.
  • Make Notes: Try writing down or using a task manager to identify your favourite parts of the track. This may help you identify what is working and what isnt. We use Google Keep, which is a free task manager.

When to Discard a Track

  • Lack of Excitement: If you no longer feel motivated by a track after multiple sessions, it might be time to move on.
  • Stagnation: If a track has been stagnant for weeks with no significant progress, consider setting it aside temporarily.
  • Technical Hurdles: If a track presents insurmountable technical challenges that impede your workflow, it may be better to abandon it temporarily.
  • Concept Mismatch: If the track’s concept no longer aligns with your current artistic direction, it might be best to discard it and focus on projects that resonate with your vision.
  • Waste Nothing: Just because something may get discarded, be sure to resample or consolidate any files which you think are good. These can be used in other projects and may well speed up your workflow in the long run!

Balancing New Ideas and Finishing Tracks

  • Keep an Idea Bank: Capture new ideas in a notebook without disrupting your current project.
  • Scheduled Idea Time: Allocate specific times for brainstorming new ideas separate from your production sessions.
  • Quick Sketches: Create quick sketches or loops of new ideas when inspiration strikes, which you can develop later into full tracks.

We’ve also come up with a ‘cheatsheet’ below to serve as a quick reference:

Cheatsheet for Finishing More Original Music

  • Set clear milestones
  • Work with templates
  • Experiment with layering and resampling
  • Limit your tools
  • Stay focused with time limits
  • Define your vision
  • Embrace imperfection
  • Develop a routine
  • Seek feedback
  • Shift your mindset
  • Commit to tracks
  • Work in phases
  • Set deadlines
  • Limit revisions
  • Prioritize main elements
  • Know when to discard a track
  • Balance new ideas with finishing tracks

Mastering the art of completing music tracks demands a mix of discipline, creativity, and perseverance. Embrace the journey, and make what you want to make!


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