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Self doubt

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Williamjohnsmith

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« on: January 22, 2019, 06:55:53 AM »
Recently I’ve been trying to write and record an EP to release online something I’ve always wanted to do but I can never seem to finish a song.

Some of the things that stop me are
  • the lyrics take me so long to write because I never think they are good enough which means I end up working for a very long time on the song and end up hating it
  • i start recording the vocals and hate the sound of my own voice so get annoyed and stop writing the song
  • I easily go off ideas and throw them in the bin

I also have to record in my parents house and they are usually in which makes me nervous to record vocals and when I do they maybe don’t sound as good because the performance is weak as I’m trying to be quiet

I was wondering if anyone else experiences this self doubt when writing or recording and if there is any advice out there?



Ignore it?
Force yourself to finish things?

Any advice for how to be more productive and finish things also

I really want to make an album or EP
« Last Edit: January 22, 2019, 07:21:16 AM by Williamjohnsmith »

Yodasdad

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« Reply #1 on: January 22, 2019, 12:49:00 PM »
Everyone is their own worst critic!

Think about it like this...who are you to judge you own music?

So what if you write a song that you thing is the biggest pile of rubbish ever...if someone else likes it, just one...surely that’s mission accomplished?

Surely there are songs out there that you don’t like, that other people do or vice versa?

You know the answer, you’ve said it... you’ve got to just finish a song, good or bad in your opinion, and then post it on hear for advice.

And I hate to break it to you, but it probably won’t be on a par with bohemian rhapsody, most people’s first songs aren’t that good, mine wasn’t!

Yodasdad.

adamfarr

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« Reply #2 on: January 22, 2019, 02:24:06 PM »
Hey there - probably better to think your songs are terrible and to get a pleasant surprise if someone else likes them, than to think they are amazing and to be disappointed.


All this gets better with practice. So commit, get it recorded, have people listen, listen to others on here (critical listening is a great skill then to apply to your own songs), rework (or dump!) and get excited for the next one.


Also nowadays "committing" is not so final - if you use a DAW then at any time you can just go back in a re-record a new vocal or instrumental line if wanted.


I say buy the parents noise-cancelling headphones and a Netflix subscription ;-) Or just tell them they should be happy that you are getting creative and expressing yourself!

Martinswede

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« Reply #3 on: January 22, 2019, 08:22:28 PM »
Hi!

If I understand you right you start recording before the song is finished?
I suggest you work on a few songs simultaneously so you don't get stuck on one song and it ends in frustration.
Singing has a steep learning curve. Try changing the key 'til is really in your comfort zone.
I also advice you to play covers. If you have the time try a new song every day or so. Just simple songs to practice singing melodies.

Lastly a kind remark, start replying to other peoples posts. Some might hesitate to reply to members that aren't active.

Keep singing,
Martin

Williamjohnsmith

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« Reply #4 on: January 22, 2019, 09:48:49 PM »
Thanks for the replies, sorry I've only just logged in to see them!

they were all really helpful and have inspired me to stick at it a bit more and force myself to finish the songs I am writing.

I will try to upload some here as the first two of you suggested when I finish in a reply and in a separate post in the feedback section of the forum.

just to clarify my parents are supportive of my music and don't mind me making noise it's just that I am embarrassed to record vocals when they are in, I am in my early 20s and perhaps a bit too self concious. luckily I had an empty house earlier and did do some vocals which turned out pretty well which has spurred me on a bit.

thanks again for the advice I will keep you posted!

pompeyjazz

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« Reply #5 on: January 22, 2019, 10:12:31 PM »
Recording vocals is a huge problem for most of us guys on here so don't worry about it too much. The best scenario is empty house syndrome but that is often a rare beast  :(
Sing your head off whenever and wherever you can. Its very good for you apparently  :)
Well I think that it does give you a high that nothing else could do  :)

Williamjohnsmith

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« Reply #6 on: January 23, 2019, 07:53:01 AM »
Yes @pompeyjazz


Another option is findinga small writing studio to rent, they seem quite hard to come by though!

asongman

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« Reply #7 on: February 25, 2019, 03:13:36 PM »
William, you're not alone! I think many of us have gone through similar feelings at some point. Especially when still relatively new to songwriting.

The main thing I'll say to you is to remember what stage you're at. You're not signed to a big record label who expect you to produce hit after hit. You're in the practice / improvement / having fun stage. But if sounds like that third part is getting pushed by by the self doubt.

Whole you can actively try and improve your songs by learning new techniques, time and ongoing practice is something which will help you naturally get better over time. It's ok if you feel your songs aren't currently the best. That just means you've more room to improve.

I wouldn't throw out songs. Write them to completion and move on to the next. Keep writing, keep recording. Every half a year or so you can go back to old songs. I bet you'll find ways you can easily improve them as you will have gotten better yourself. :)
I just want to write a song.

MartynRich

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« Reply #8 on: February 25, 2019, 05:21:22 PM »
Keep finishing the songs, put them to one side and move on, even if you don’t like them. Come back to them a couple of weeks later and I guarantee you’ll have a new perspective on them.

macker71165

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« Reply #9 on: February 25, 2019, 10:12:37 PM »
Y,know what mate am the same only just had the confidence too post minr i have lots of self doubt  about my music keep writing 

Elian

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« Reply #10 on: April 14, 2019, 09:54:49 AM »
  • the lyrics take me so long to write because I never think they are good enough which means I end up working for a very long time on the song and end up hating it

NEVER put something out if you do not feel it's the absolute best, so if you feel the lyrics are not good enough keep polishing them until they are. If it just seems like a dead end and waste too much time on lyrics, just scrap 'em and start from scratch. Good songs don't take ages to write.

  • i start recording the vocals and hate the sound of my own voice so get annoyed and stop writing the song

Don't we all? I'll go off-topic a bit, but please bare with me. Have you ever looked in the mirror and looked okay then taken a picture of yourself and thought you looked awful? You actually look the exact same, but mirrors simply invert everything they reflect so the difference between it and the image tricks you into believing you look bad.

It's the exact same thing with your voice. You hear yourself differently because of how voice forms in the body, resonating against your sinuses, while the microphone records it as it comes out of your mouth. The difference between the two tricks you into thinking your voice sucks when in reality might not be the case. I haven't heard a single vocalist, from amateurs to Grammy winners, that didn't hate the way their voice sounds on recordings.

  • I easily go off ideas and throw them in the bin

I think we're all guilty of that, myself included. Inspiration can hit us in a split second, but completing a song ain't no easy task. Taking a musical idea from inception to its final form requires discipline, which can be trained just like a muscle. Force yourself to work on developing each idea instead of scrapping it immediately. If it doesn't take you anywhere after an hour or so, feel free to scrap it or, if you still feel there's something there, put it aside, work on something else and come back to it another time.

I also have to record in my parents house and they are usually in which makes me nervous to record vocals and when I do they maybe don’t sound as good because the performance is weak as I’m trying to be quiet

Listen, your voice and your music will only be as good as the head space you're in when recording, so as long as you're limiting yourself, your overall sound will suffer. We make music for others to listen to, that's the whole point of it. Like it or not, your music will reach other people's ears, people who will not be as supportive or forgiving as your parents. You will not be able to please everybody and many will say you suck. Do you know any artist out there whose voice and music are liked by absolutely everybody? I don't.

If moving out and having a place of your own is out of the question (which I completely understand), maybe you want to look into portable home recording booths, whether you DIY one (YouTube is a great resource for that) or buy it ready-made.

Good luck and keep doing what you love most!  ;)