Hands up: who’s been deep in creative flow and smashing out tracks, only to freeze at the idea of finally finishing that project? Those unpublished drafts just… sitting there… in your projects folder.

We’ve all been there!

As we’re coming to the close of 2019 (!), here are some top tips from the team to finally finish the music you’ve been working so hard on.

Don’t over-cook

You know in cooking when the egg is on that knife’s edge between the perfect consistency and a blobby mess? That’s your track. Overcooking can ruin the creative idea you had in the first place. And that’s not just in music: it applies for every type of art too. Have faith, and let your work shine.

Multiple drafts are your friend

Tree view makes it easy to look through your project’s draft history

The beauty of DAWs today (like BandLab) is the ability to save multiple drafts and tweak. Technology, especially with mobile recording, makes it easy to record multiple takes, fast. So if you really don’t like the version you made a month ago, just open up a new version and recycle the idea.

But clean out old drafts, too. 🗑️

Okay so we did say use the old drafts. But, take a hard look through your older drafts too. Let go of the ones you truly won’t use. Delete ruthlessly.

Removing the less-than-great options makes you focus on the diamonds in your mix tray. And suddenly, you might find the one!

Meet your own deadlines (and be hardcore about it).

A lot of us are creating solo and don’t have external forces pushing us to finish our work. So we’ve got to be our own biggest advocates all the time.

That includes pushing yourself to finish the work. Think of how good it’ll feel to have it done. And out in the world? Harness that energy to sprint to the finish line.

Or, make the deadline external by entering a contest

BandLab runs community contests with cash prizes every month!

If you’re bad at meeting your own deadlines, join one of our monthly contests to give yourself something to work towards!

Throw it open to the community 🌎

Stuck on your track? Accept you can’t finish it and make your track forkable with a shout out for contributions.

Open it to be forkable and let someone else add their spice. Or, look for forkable tracks so you’re not starting from scratch.

Find out more about forking a track here!

Don’t let perfect be the enemy of great.

The mix is stellar. The lyrics are on point. The beat’s fire. The riff’s delicious. Look, no matter how awesome your track is, you’ll find ways to improve it.

Your music’s a snapshot; a moment in time. At some point you’ve got to let go. Celebrate it and get your music out there!

Get physical

assorted-artist record sleeve inside record shop

Remember CDs? Mixtapes? That feeling of holding your music in your hands? That’s the power of the physical medium, meaning your music’s truly finished. Finish that track and make a vinyl out of it, even if it’s just for yourself. There are plenty of services that can help you press independently.

Alternately, we’re all multi-channel marketing nowadays, so why not make a plan for a small run of merch as self-incentive (and healthy pressure) to finish up your music.

Play it. Out loud. To someone.

There’s nothing like a live audience to see how somebody responds to your art.

Play it to your friends. Family. Busk on the street. Do an open mic. Heck, it’s party season – grab the aux cord and blast it. And, be open to the feedback you receive.

Just commit.

It’s the end of the year! Get out there and don’t make excuses. Good or bad, close that musical chapter and get ready for a brand new one. You’ve got this.