All your leftover song bits and pieces - where do they go?

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  • @johncrossman  Mar 1

    So many scraps of paper, homeless verses and choruses (chorii?), quick and not-so-quick recordings on the tablet and phone, even a few started tracks in GarageBand.... I think I could fill a kiddie pool and bathe in it. Ok, maybe a goldfish bowl....

    What's left scattered around in your world, songwriting-wise?
    And what do you do with all of that unfinished raw genius material? 😉

  • @splittybooms  Mar 1

    All my stuff is made in a I got a folder with GBs of 'sketches' that will never see the light of day dating back to 2015. What do you do with your raw genius material, @johncrossman ? (that should be a new element on the periodic table)
    I don't write lyrics, so I don't have the tactile desire to pick up those scraps of paper - which if I did, seems like it might motivate me to do something with them. Do you go back to them ever and finish them, or incorporate them into new songs down the road? That's what I do with my scraps of electronic bits sometimes.
    FAWM this year produced more 'scraps' than last year's.

  • @vomvorton  Mar 1

    I have a big folder of unfinished ideas too. I keep thinking I should work through it and try and turn all of them into something, for 50/90 maybe. I managed to make it through FAWM finishing everything I started though, apart from one lyric called "I Can't Wait For You (My Tiny Insect)" which probably never stood a chance anyway.

  • @johncrossman  Mar 1

    Yeah, I have a few in GB but I resort to recording last, so not much memory taken up there. I jot a lot of notes and, in the last 3-4 years, record a line or two on a tablet I always have on me.

    Last year (or was it the year before?) I dug through scrap paper to piece one more song together on the last day. This year, I clipped all my papers and left them behind in the dust... of my apt.

    I almost never go back and click through all the :12-:50 second clips on my tablet. I could probably delete at least half... but then I'd have to listen to them again. Ugh!

  • @johncrossman  Mar 1

    @vomvorton And now I must hear I Can't Wait For You (My Tiny Insect). The world awaits its debut!

  • @vomvorton  Mar 1

    @johncrossman if I go through with the "finish all my unused snippets" idea, it's top of the list! Hopefully by then I'll have forgotten the terrible placeholder melody.

  • @sailingmagpie  Mar 1

    I threw a load of unfinished bits together to make my half song this year. Not that the finished song sounds anything like the original fragments!

  • @atitlan  Mar 1

    I've got everything from drum beats, through multi-track 8 bar loops, to completed backing tracks that I couldn't come up with lyrics for in my DAW songs folder. Every so often I'll go back and see if anything sparks an idea (occasionally they do), but a lot of them just languish there.

    Lyrics, unfortunately, never come to anything - I have a melody in my head when I write them, but I can never recapture it if I go back to add music.

  • @coolparadiso  Mar 1

    yup I have an electronic folder with eveything in , from titles to half finished lyrics to bits of music. being I'm away they will sit in a mess until may when i get home.

  • @metalfoot  Mar 1

    *embarrassedly notes he has no leftover bits*

  • @tawalker Mar 1

    It was part of my "gameplan" for this FAWM, that *everything* I produced this time around would be "unfinished ideas". That is, I deliberately approached the challenge as a way of creating and "woodshedding" new material for the album project I'm embarking on for this year. Sadly, I didn't make 14 this time (got stymied at 12), but I've now got at least a few items which I reckon I can take further...

  • @andygetch  Mar 1

    The last few years I have switched to electronic notes on my phone (for when inspiration strikes when out) that end up in Scrivener and somehow fewer leftovers than my paper days. I have a shelf of old notebooks and journals from the early 2010's. Last 5090 I pulled some mostly forgotten ideas out of a notebook from 2011.

  • @standup  Mar 2

    I throw old notebooks in a box with the idea I will one day browse them for forgotten tidbits. I don't ever do this. But I COULD.

  • @dasbinky  Mar 2

    As part of my "Post-FAWM Cleanup™", I move all of my Unfinished Ideas© into a folder called "Unfinished Ideas©" and then I usually try to use it during 50/90. I usually forget though, and they remain Unfinished Ideas©.

  • @dasbinky  Mar 2

    As a separate part of my "Post-FAWM Cleanup™", I forget how to play guitar, lose the ability to rhyme anything other than "me" and "be", and accidentally format my hard drive. It's a very cleansing period. Or more accurately, a "Cleansing Period®".

  • @tcelliott  Mar 2

    I have some ideas spread all over the place. Which will, quite likely, never get touched. Even the good ones that I vaguely remember from last summer... *sigh*

  • @robotkitten  Mar 2

    I have a "FAWMnants" folder in Google Drive in case any of my lyric snippets are useful in the future.

  • @lyricslinger Mar 2

    I write nearly all my lyrics in a notepad app on my mobile phone. I then upload those that are finished or nearly finished to my computer where I save them. So those that only got to the 'started' stage remain on my phone. I often go back and revisit those ideas. Sometimes I then get the inspiration to work on them and complete them, sometimes they go nowhere

  • @johncrossman  Mar 2

    I'm comforted to know my non-method is shared by many fellow fawmers. For those of you who actually use your scraps for later inspiration, I aspire to be more like you!

  • @radioovermoscow Mar 2

    Into the 'riffs and snippets' subfolder of my 'demos and random recordings' folder in Google Drive. Might get used next week, next year, or a decade from now! Who knows?

  • @sapient  Mar 2

    Gosh. So am I the only person that deletes them?
    I mean I know that archiving things and never looking at them again might be effectively the same thing but yeah, I don't keep em. If I start a song and don't like it then it gets deleted. Once I'm finished a song then I go into the audio pool and delete anything that didn't get used. Mostly this is bad takes but it sometimes includes ideas that just didn't fit.
    Brutal eh?

  • @klaus  Mar 2

    I go through all my snippets and make best-of compilations. There is so much garbage I don't know why I ever recorded 90 % of them in the first place. I don't delete the original recordings because I still use cassettes.

  • @frey Mar 2

    I don't keep them either! If I can't more or less finish a song in one sitting, it usually never gets finished and I leave it to collect dust forever.

  • @nancyrost  Mar 2

    My scraps and snippets often get used in collaborations, where co-writers can give them fresh perspectives.

  • @johncrossman  Mar 2

    @sapient - appropriately brutal! There's a reason they didn't make the final cut. But also maybe comfortable with the idea that more will come along... and then they do.

    I'm also usually words first to get something going or words and music at the same time. I almost never think in riffs. If I do, they tend to float away...

  • @filklore Mar 2

    My songs mostly start as lyrics, but apart from some hastily scribbled notes, I do all my writing on a computer keyboard.

    So yes, I have a folder that is literally called "notes and snippets".

    Some of the files there are almost complete songs; but perhaps something that was simply not going in the right direction, or had something I didn't like. Some are single verses and/or choruses. Some are simply a line or two describing a song idea.

    I occasionally return to this folder for ideas. On rare occasions, it results in my deleting a file completely in disgust - "I've looked at this for the last 5 years and it will never work". 😁

    Usually, it will result in a rewrite - possibly taking the song in a different direction. Or sometimes, just taking a couple of lines out to put into a different song that I was working on.

    Many years ago, I had two songs, both which had been around in some form for years. It was only when looking at them one after the other, that I realised the first contained a "verse" that was actually a perfect bridge to complete the second song. 😁

  • @pipewrench67  Mar 2

    I write almost all of my lyrics in notebooks (this year I used 4 for some reason, I have an idea there's a notebook, must get 8dea down now) these notebooks may get used more or may join the stockpile of partially used notebooks that are conveniently scattered throughout the house. Occasionally (rarely) I will revisit and find some useful things to complete. As far as housekeeping in the electronic realm I do nothing every song has it's own file I may or may not put all those folders into a fawm folder.

  • @ceilidh  Mar 2

    Song scraps can be anywhere, in archaeological order. Last year I found one about taxes and April 15th that I had let go, and when I found it again, it was ready to sing - and at least one person was requesting the lyrics for her tax preparer. Sometimes (rarely) what didn't seem okay a few months or years back is ready to go when found again. More likely it will take some pummeling to get it into a new shape or rejoin the other shards in the dig.

  • @emkaydeebee  Mar 2

    I like what @unkept did with his leftover work... he did a 10x10 😀

  • @ustaknow Mar 2

    I have a krappe pile that occasionally visits the woodstove, or has happened, like 10 year old songs got revisited in some FAWM5090 in the recent past. Burning the laptops are a bit dicey, but they will 😀 Sometimes I light a pile of Paintings and Guitars, and chuck'em on top.

  • @davidbreslin101  Mar 8

    They kind of get folded into the ongoing compost-heap process by which I write songs the rest of the time. I have at least 10 FAWM offcuts mulching in there right now. My worst FAWM, where I finished a grand total of zero songs, still resulted in several songs later that year.

  • @chipwithrow  Mar 10

    I love the idea of a woodstove (@ustaknow) or a compost heap (@davidbreslin101) for the leftovers!
    The only musical leftovers I can think of right now are a few ukulele riffs I recorded pre-50/90 last summer. Lyrically maybe a verse, or a couplet, or a few titles somewhere. I could probably find them if I went digging through a few desk drawers, but I'm not really inclined to do so.
    I don't seem to run out of ideas, although I do recycle them (in keeping with the compost theme). Like, I've written an album's worth of songs about my dog over the last 10 years.
    Oddly, I do remember a verse or two each from three unfinished songs I wrote when I was in maybe sixth or seventh grade. Maybe I'll complete those, 40 years later!

  • @ustaknow Mar 25

    - I can't write fast enough lately. This government sponsored vacation is very condusive to creativity, it seems.

    Moreover, I don't want a large krappe pile 😀

    To keep track and not loose stuff on anyone device (since still actually working) is to then paste it to an online account to then reference later, when time permits (5090?).

    The 'ole email it to self thing does not work for other than more backup, - for me. The online account can be scrolled down, then copied into the Book and delete-deleted or developed. Many times on later review, "man, that was krappe", and gets deleted. It's good to tap the brakes.

    I find I care less and less about keeping any "match book cover" jem scraps since know at this point, new diamonds are always being formed under all that "pressure" 😀

  • @lemonstar Jul 21

    I just started working on a leftover from FAWM 2010!
    I came across an <2min audio file - the chords will be easy enough to work out and I have 2 verses and a chorus - how hard can it be to finish 😉

  • @oxygenpillow Aug 2

    I rarely have anything left over. My very first FAWM ('08) I had one song that was fully written but I chickened out at the last minute because I thought it was a harshly judgemental song. I may record it someday. Don't need to work on it since it's complete.

    I've never really had fragments leftover. I struggle hard enough coming up with material that pretty much everything gets used, and what doesn't get used isn't saved. I do have unfinished/partially finished/fragments of songs, but they didn't come from FAWM.

  • @torniojaws 3 weeks

    I usually only have finished songs, but this year I tried out writing 10 songs at the same time (each had +10 bpm tempo after the other, and I wrote one riff for Song 1, then one for Song 2, etc), which left me with 7 unfinished songs 😝

  • @sunnymae  2 weeks

    I've got 100's of tidbits. they all get stored and some land up generating either something new or being inserted into an already existing piece. i love listening to them. they bring me back to the spark of creativity and remind me where it all starts.

  • @andygetch  2 weeks

    The last four years I have been using Scrivener for songwriting. One of its features is a 'research' folder which is where my unfinished ideas go. Prior to that I have a shelf full of now old ideas notebooks and loose pieces of paper in folders. I do go back to them from time to time.

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