Don’t get too attached
After spending hours cultivating and incubating a seed of a musical idea into a full-blown track, you’ll be fully invested in that song idea. In fact, it’s probable that you won’t ever imagine the track laid out another way! After all, a producer’s latest track is his or her baby; a labour of love. The more time spent on it, the more you’ll be invested in that idea.
Yet this emotional attachment is counterproductive to creativity. A great way to break this attachment is via the ‘car test’ – go crank the track on your car stereo and go for a drive. Alternatively, stick it on the kitchen radio, on the living room hi-fi, or even test it over a nightclub system. Play it to other people, and take note of their reactions. This can highlight bad choices you made through overlistening, or vice versa – you might realise your progressive techno roller seems a little too rolling and needs switching up to maintain attention.
If you do need to revisit a track’s structure, one way to try out a different arrangement is by copying and pasting your core ‘chorus’ or drop section further down the project timeline, way after your first arrangement. Use this as a chance to start again and learn from your mistakes — you can keep what worked, but try out new things too. This approach is also a great way to create a radio edit from a club mix, or vice versa.