How To Escape The 8 Bar Loop & Finish Your Arrangement

So you’ve been stuck in that same 8 bar loop for the past few hours, or even days and can’t finish your track huh?  Join the club.  It’s one of the most frustrating things ever.  To make things worse you open up Facebook and one of your friends just posted about finishing a new track in an hour…

 Why does this happen?  WHY?!

Escape the 8 bar loop and finish your arrangements

 To be honest I’m not sure why.  It could be lack of inspiration.  Maybe you didn’t get enough sleep.  Maybe you just need to go out and have a good time then come back with a fresh mindset. 

Whatever the reason is I have a few things that will help you get out of that dreaded 8 bar loop and finish your arrangement right now.

 

Find a Reference Track

If you know me at all you know how much I love reference tracks.  They’re a gift from the heavens.  Use them!  Find a song that you really like that sounds similar to what you’re trying to produce and use it as a guide!

What else could you ask for?  The arrangement is done and there for you to use as a guide for your arrangement.  There are ideas for drops, buildups and breakdowns.  You can even get ideas for sound design and what samples to use.

I know what you might be thinking.  You might be thinking that you’re stealing somebody’s work.  Well, you’re not.  Inspiration has to come from somewhere.  Every song you’ve ever heard got its inspiration from another song, idea or arrangement. 

Do you want your music played on the radio?  Then you’re going to have to follow a certain arrangement, that’s just the way it is.

You might find yourself changing the arrangement and switching things up but the point is you now have a clear guide to get you out of that 8 bar loop you’ve been stuck in.

 

using a reference track to finish an arrangement and get out of the 8 bar loop

 

Limit Your Options

Don’t confuse and throw yourself off with tons of samples, sounds and plugins.  You’ll find yourself spending more time choosing what synth or plugin to use than actually make music.  Just make music!

Here are a some great tips to get you finishing your arrangement even faster.

  • Use the native plugins in your DAW.
  • Don’t worry about what everyone is saying about digital vs. analog.
  • Use only one sample pack for the entire project (*super helpful).
  • Use your markers as a guide for your production sessions.
  • Take a short break after finishing a section.
  • Reward yourself for finishing sections.
  • Have fun!

 

Feel The Music

It’s almost too easy to get lost in all the plugins, synths, hardware, software and toys that come with producing electronic dance music.  Don’t get me wrong I’m a huge sound nerd.  But sometimes you need to take a step back and just enjoy your own creation.  Listen to your music.  Feel the groove and the sounds and let your ears and body guide you through your arrangement.

Listen to your music.  Feel the groove and the sounds and let your ears and body guide you through your arrangement.

You know how sometimes you sing or hum along with a song and you start filling parts in with your own melodies or sounds that you made up in your head?  Has that ever happened to you?  I do it all the time.  Pretend like the song you’re working on is just something that came on the radio and hum or

Pretend like the song you’re working on is just something that came on the radio and hum or sing along with it and imagine what the next section should sound like, or what sound should come in, or what effect you would use for the drop.

I can’t stress this enough.  This is music guys.  It’s meant to be a home for your creativity and inspiration and something that brings you joy and happiness.  Don’t let it be a source of frustration.

Follow these tips and I guarantee you won’t be stuck in any more 8 bar loops and you’ll be able to finish your arrangements so much quicker. 

If you have any other ideas or tips please leave them in the comments for everyone to enjoy.  Also, if you’ve enjoyed reading this article please share it!  You would be doing me a huge favor and also maybe helping someone else finish their song.

March 8, 2017

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