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Six months in to recording new album . . . five songs and a lot of frustration

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by hemingway, Dec 3, 2020.

  1. hemingway

    hemingway Poster Extraordinaire

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    There is really no point to this post other than me venting. You all know what I'm going to say and I know what the answers are. But what's the BDC for if not to vent?

    I know my music means almost nothing to almost everyone except me. But I take it seriously and want to do my best by it. And I have a deluded dream of a few of my songs finding a modest audience one day.

    But man am I in a hole.

    I started this album back in June. The first 4 songs went well, but slowly. Since then I've only managed one more, ditching several others along the way.

    That's fine, it's standard. There are always false starts.

    But I find myself struggling to go on with it. Maybe it's because I was so sick during the spring and it has sapped me somewhat. Maybe I'm judging myself too harshly. Maybe I've just run out of decent material for now.

    Of course it's partly all of the above.

    And of course many of you are nodding in agreement about how frustrating and draining this can be.

    The answer is to stop doing it if I'm not enjoying it. But when you're obsessive as I am that's not always an option.

    So for now I'll plough on. This album will get finished. It won't be what I wanted it to be. And no one will care and very few people will even hear it. Standard.

    Then a year from now I'll listen to it . . . and feel quite proud.

    Ah, what else was I gonna do with all that time? Have a life? Naaah.

    Rant over for now.

    I don't need advice, answers, tips - it's all inside me, I know that. I just needed a few people to nod in agreement. Thanks for nodding.
     
    Obsessed, DNestler, tah1962 and 8 others like this.
  2. Guitarteach

    Guitarteach Doctor of Teleocity

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    EP... win.
     
  3. TokyoPortrait

    TokyoPortrait Friend of Leo's

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    Nodding. Literally.
     
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  4. srblue5

    srblue5 Tele-Meister

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    I'm in the same boat with my own solo album side project. My struggles come from a lack of confidence that what I'm doing is any good, even to just me. I'm now mostly trying to ride the waves of inspiration/confidence and take breaks from it when the muse isn't with me.
     
    hemingway likes this.
  5. Buckaroo65

    Buckaroo65 Tele-Holic

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    I record myself as well, so I get what's up... I take solace in the fact that I'm under absolutely no pressure, and no record company executive is gonna make me redo all my bum notes.
     
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  6. Guitarteach

    Guitarteach Doctor of Teleocity

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    We are stuck at two well done new tunes and 3 more stuck in the pot..

    What is an ‘album’ these days when everyone streams individual tunes. You can choose what makes it ‘complete’ ... a triptych? A story in 4 chapters...
     
    hemingway likes this.
  7. Telecaster88

    Telecaster88 Tele-Holic

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    Nothing wrong with a four song ep!
     
  8. ravindave_3600

    ravindave_3600 Friend of Leo's

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    Nodding.

    My first CD was 6 tunes, clocked in about 28 minutes. That seems about right to me, as most 10- song albums have some filler.

    So be encouraged, you're 2/3 there! Closer to done than you think.

    BTW, I've got songs for two more projects but no longer have the band to pull them off. Very sad about that.
     
    hemingway likes this.
  9. 3-Chord-Genius

    3-Chord-Genius Poster Extraordinaire

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    I was going to say EP, and others already said it. If you try to force art to occur, something will occur but it won't be art.

    I had similar frustration with a band I was in. We had four songs finished after TWO FREAKING YEARS..... I actually wrote and recorded enough music to make a full album but our vocalist wasn't inspired by 6 of the songs... but she also wouldn't come up with anything. TWO YEARS later, I took those remaining 6 songs, approached another vocalist I know who said he'd write lyrics for them and sing on them, did so in short order. He and I quickly wrote 4 more songs (it's amazing what you can do when inspired), got a drummer to play on all 10, and had a completed album in 2 MONTHS.....

    The original EP with the original vocalist is still not complete and I don't even care anymore.
     
  10. hemingway

    hemingway Poster Extraordinaire

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    Part of my trouble is that I'm not accepting "filler" on this one. That makes it tough. It doesn't mean I'm not including a few slower, more experimental numbers on "side two". But I don't think of them as filler. I want them to be good.

    I'm really tired of doing anything that's a bit indulgent and anything that I know deep down is not good enough. But if you raise your standards, things are going to get tough. No way around that.
     
    Telecaster88 likes this.
  11. UlricvonCatalyst

    UlricvonCatalyst TDPRI Member

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    I've been working on my labour of love project for something like three years at this point, and it's on yet another hiatus just now - not due to lack of inspiration, but rather the difficulty of recording somewhat quiet acoustic pieces in an apartment block in an urban setting. There was also a lengthy break when I didn't have a dedicated music computer to work on.

    I'm tempted to kick off my electric LP in order to keep my productivity rate up, but I fear both projects might then lapse into 'unfinished' status and never find their way out of it. It's good to finish what you start, even if it ends up taking longer than you'd hope.
     
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  12. gimmeatele

    gimmeatele Tele-Afflicted

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    Fear not, I am six songs and four years into mine. :D:D:D
     
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  13. hemingway

    hemingway Poster Extraordinaire

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    I also live in a block. My songs have sometimes featured:

    children laughing
    ice-cream vans
    foxes screeching
    neighbours arguing
    the postman knocking
    drunks fighting
    my phone ringing
    my fridge humming
    me coughing
    police sirens and more

    They're all there in the background somewhere. I've come to think of them as part of the fabric of the songs.
     
  14. beyer160

    beyer160 Friend of Leo's

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    My old band got together at a warehouse for a boozy, "Exile On Main Street" style weekend to bang out about 10 songs we knew pretty well into a mobile recording system I'd set up. The idea was to keep it raw and off-the-cuff, a statement against the way DAW technology has made music so over-processed. I figured we'd track in two days, do two days of vocal overdubs and boo-boo fixing, and mix in about a week. We planned to be done in a month.

    That was 18 years ago.

    The recording went down easily enough, but when I went to mix it was a complete mess. I could never get it sounding right, so I shelved the tapes. This summer, I finally got around to putting the tapes in my DAW (oh, the irony) and doing the painstaking salvage work to get it listenable. The bandleader and I have been sporadically chipping away at it since, and it's sounding pretty good now. I'm glad I didn't rush out a hatchet job mix 18 years ago.

    I guess the moral of the story is not to rush things- take the time to make something you'll be proud of instead of forcing something you'll just look back on with regret.
     
  15. Telecaster88

    Telecaster88 Tele-Holic

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    Love it!
     
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  16. 3-Chord-Genius

    3-Chord-Genius Poster Extraordinaire

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    If you don't want to accept "filler", then finish the EP and be done with it. Stone Temple Pilots originally planned "Shangri-La Dee Da" to be a double album, but decided during production to toss out half the weaker songs and instead produce a much more focused album. And that was a great album.

    If "The Phantom Menace" (Star Wars Episode I) were edited down to about 90 minutes, and the weaker scenes removed..... it still would have sucked, just about 30 minutes less. So I guess that's not a good example. Well, it's a good example of a movie that was composed of mostly crap.
     
  17. kbold

    kbold Tele-Afflicted

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    Also nodding.

    I've only written 2 songs this year: nothing over the last 6 months.
    In contrast, last year was a blast of creativity.
    I don't fret over it ... it's not my source of income .... and I know these things ebb and flow, much like a tree that fruits once a year.
    When creativity fruits, we pluck the passing ideas from the air.

    As a side-note: why is there always someone standing behind every politician on TV nodding to everything said?
    (Rhetorical question not in need of a reply).
     
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  18. Chevalier

    Chevalier TDPRI Member

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    Nodding... however... why fret (pardon the pun) about finishing an album... who listens to a whole album these days? Get the finished songs you are happy with out there...
     
  19. thankyouguitar

    thankyouguitar Tele-Meister

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    Nodding! Year + for me but am finally starting to see the end of the tunnel. As you said, you know what to do and you can do it!
     
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  20. hemingway

    hemingway Poster Extraordinaire

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    I like albums.

    I do think that EPs might be the way to go in the longer term, though. I'm just finding the big projects too much to deal with.
     
    Jim622 likes this.
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