Thoughts on Finishing Music When Starting Out

Tl;dr: Make the shittiest track ever.

Had a Laidback Luke forumer come to me with a question venting his frustration with a problem I remember all too well facing: Trying to finish music when your production caliber is nowhere near the best. As I’m sure there are hundreds of others facing this exact problem, here are the thoughts I shared with him:

God, I know how exactly how you feel. It’s so frustrating because it’s when you don’t have the music production chops that you NEED to finish tracks most, but once you have the production chops finishing them doesn’t become as big of a hassle.

Here’s what you do: Make the shittiest track ever. You heard me. It doesn’t even matter if it’s mixed terribly, if the layers sound like crap, if it’s so bad that it resurrects your grandma from the grave to slap you in the face. What you need to do is just finish one to build momentum, because it takes YEARS before you begin to finish tracks that sound professional.

Once you finish your shittiest track ever, put it to the world. Ask for the most critical of critical feedback. Find the few things you can fix, figure out how to fix them. Then make another shitty track with those tweaks, dodge the blow from granny yet again, and put that track out there for critical feedback. Find what other additional tweaks you should make, figure out how to do them. Repeat.

It’s going to be demoralizing hearing your productions against the professionals. Hearing the feedback from your fellow producers is going to be more painful than open heart surgery.

But if you stick to it, though track by track the improvements are VEERRRY minuscule, over time as you become 3–4 tweaks better a track, you’ll become insanely dangerous when you least expect it.

So go make the shittiest music known to mankind, and love every fucking second of it: Because one day, when you least expect it, it’ll sound godfucking amazing ;)

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