Strip it back
An alternative approach to coming up with new sections for a tune is to take a loop or a section that already contains plenty of tracks – this could be achieved by creating a full drop section first, for example – then work backwards, progressively removing elements to find combinations of parts that you already know will work together, but with a more minimalistic approach. For builds, try just repeating the first bar or two of your musical elements over existing percussion parts. Or dive into a copy of an existing MIDI part and gradually remove notes a few at a time – this will have the effect of the part gradually growing from just one or two seemingly random notes or chords into a properly arranged part.
Listening to stripped-down versions of the drop is a good way to inspire new ideas for other sections of a track, particularly prechorus builds, intros and bridges. The combination of just drums, vocal hook and nothing else, for example, is often a winner, so if you’re stuck for variation ideas, just drop all the music out for eight bars or so and see what happens!
When in doubt, sometimes the answer is just to take things back a notch…