3 Tips For Finishing An Album

If you’re not careful, an album is something that could take you years to finish. As an artist, it’s crucial to make something creatively meaningful, and that takes time. But there comes a point with making music where indecision, distractions, and the desire to only make “perfect” work gets in the way of productivity and wrapping up projects. If you can’t seem to finish that album you’ve been pouring your heart and soul into, here are three tips to help:

Stop touring 

It’s not downright impossible to write and record on the road, but it’s hugely challenging. Playing in different locations night after night and traveling during the day creates conditions that are unideal for completing an album. This is hard advice to swallow, especially for musicians who make most of their money touring, but staying home and focusing on finishing an album is what needs to happen if you’re a busy musician who can’t seem to wrap things up. Touring demands so much time and attention that it doesn’t leave room for much else.

Stick to a songwriting/recording schedule 

Musicians who aren’t on the road all the time often also struggle with finishing albums, whether it’s writing new material or putting finishing touches on the entire project. Common sense logic applies here, which is that if you’re serious about finishing an important music project, you need time and energy to get it done. It’s easy to embark on a new album with optimism and a strict schedule for getting things done, but after weeks or months into the process, it can be hard to sustain that sort of fervor. If you’re stuck on something that’s keeping you from finishing your album, recommit to a schedule that allows you to face your creative or technical challenges in an unrushed way. Time is one of your largest assets as a musician, and your album won’t develop and solidify without it. This means working when you don’t feel like it and fully committing to the process. 

When it’s time to spread the word about your finished album, it’s time to look at Promote It

Be decisive 

Decisions, decisions. We’re faced with a literal endless amount of songwriting and production choices when we make music, so it’s natural to feel overwhelmed or stuck at times. But when it comes to wrapping up a big music project like an album, choices must be made in order to move forward. When the desire to create something great gets in the way of working naturally, creatively, and decisively, artists can’t create meaningful work. Instead of compromising on ideas by rushing them, it’s best to focus on working in a way that leaves time for real decisions to be made. There is no such thing as perfect in music, so getting stuck striving for unrealistic ideals will only leave you frustrated and further away from your goals. 

Despite what you might think, albums are still massively important in music, and they’re not easy to create. But by being decisive, sticking to a schedule, and staying off the road, you’ll create the best creative conditions for moving forward and finishing yours. 

Patrick McGuire is a writer, musician, and human man. He lives nowhere in particular, creates music under the name Straight White Teeth, and has a great affinity for dogs and putting his hands in his pockets.

Tyler3 Tips For Finishing An Album

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  • Frankie Russell - February 19, 2020 reply

    Thanks!..great read and even more valuable advice. I, like most, continue to make it perfect…when as you stated, ‘ there’s no such thing as perfect in music’
    I’ll be working on my next project with your cues in mind.
    Thanx again!!!

  • kenneth sørensen - February 20, 2020 reply

    I think te biggest problem in creating an album is more related to the problems with getting it
    published and out in the right places to reach people.
    Many small bands or such don´t have a lot of money and to publish an album end cost them so
    much compared to what they earn that they simply give up before starting.
    Also many sevices only allow small mpg3 files typically less than 6 mb in size as upload unless they pay for premium service.
    I fully understand that those services need to earn money too but many bands can only afford the free part of the service or
    living in a country that make it difficult or impossible to pay this service because of the payment methods.
    Those are excluded from publishing to music distribution and higher quality uploads.
    I don´t have a solution on this , I just mention it in the hope that something can be done to help those.
    there is a service that can publish an album in high quality to all services as spootify ect without bands have to pay
    for premium service. Its free but they take a little amount of every album sold , I guess its about 8 percent each download ect.
    They publish to streeming services for free.
    I cant remember the name right now , I just mention it in hope that maybe it can give inspiration to something
    usefull .

  • Logan D. - February 20, 2020 reply

    I can very well relate to why albums are still important. I can remember a time when I didn’t really understand the meaning of a “single.” I would find myself searching for a new artist’s work and wondered why I could not find a full length album they had done. This did (and to a point still does) change the way I purchase music. Personally, I like full albums, but I do buy quite a few singles as well.
    The way I see it, writing a full length album is a good way to ensure less mistakes happen. You are more likely to catch mistakes on previous songs you had finished before you release the album as a whole. Such as realizing a song you had already “finished,” could have used another element or two in order to make it the best it can be. (granted mistakes are easier to fix now days depending on how you release your music. It is easier to re-release an album if you do not have physical copies available, which I do not prefer.)
    In my opinion, the best way to go is with both singles and albums. I have a more difficult time taking an artist seriously when they only have singles to purchase or listen to. That does not by any means make an artist bad just because they only have singles. I just think a good balance between the two is a good thing. Either way, there really are no rules when it comes down to how someone wants to go about making their music.

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