As most of you know, I released a new EP called Passage last week. I wanted to get it done before I left for tour with Future of Forestry, so I gave myself a deadline of 4 weeks to write and record the whole thing.
With this blog/website I really want to help you grow a fan base for your music. But I realize that before you can promote music and start getting listeners, you have to make some music first. And this really is the hardest part. So in this post I want to give you some tips from my latest experience to help those of you who might be struggling to get those songs in your head finished.
I’ve written/recorded/released a bunch of albums/EPs before this one. Each time I learn more and the whole process gets easier. So if you’re struggling with finishing some songs, it might help you to know that if you can just push through and finish them, you’ll be able to get started on the next set of songs with more experience and you’ll have an easier time.
This is really what enabled me to write and record these songs so quickly. All throughout this year I’ve been collecting little song ideas in different ways. I’ve got a bunch of little videos of riffs and ideas that I was able to sift through and use as a base for songs. This is mostly the purpose of the Sketch series that I do on YouTube as well. As I went back through all the ideas I recorded, I found a few that I had completely forgotten about. One of those actually turned into the title track of the EP, which is one of my favorite tracks. Make sure you capture those ideas, it makes it way easier when it’s time to sit down and put a song together!
Giving myself a 4-week deadline started off as a whole lot of pressure, but in the end it was really a great experience. It really forced me to spend my time on the important things and kept me from getting bogged down in the details. There are always little things that I want to change or try to make slightly better, but I’m happy to have finished the EP and am glad to have spent my time on the big things. I’m proud of what came out of those 4 weeks.
So know that it will get easier. If anything, just push through and finish those songs so that you can start on the next set! Make sure you capture ideas as they come up. It makes it much less overwhelming when you sit down to write a song. You’ll have a place to start. And consider time limits for yourself. You might find that you work better or prioritize better when you know there is a deadline coming up.
Question: In the comments below, let me know what has helped you in your songwriting process. What else do you do?