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#199285 - 11/30/06 06:04 PM When Do You Consider Your Song/Lyric Finished?  
Joined: Feb 2001
Posts: 9,649
Two Singers Offline
Two Singers  Offline

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Northern Alabama
I have heard many different answers to this question. When is your song or lyric finished. I would suppose that the answer for a lyric would be different than the answer for a song (In my mind, a song is lyrics with a melody).

I once heard someone say that a song is NEVER finished...you simply get to a point at which you are tired of rewriting it.

If it's a song, some people say it isn't finished until it is on a medium and ready for commercial sale. Some folks say that it is finished when the lyrics and the melody blend perfectly. For me personally, a song is finished when I know that I am ready to put it on a medium without further edit or rewrite.

Fior a lyric only, I am not sure. I have reworked some lyrics many times over, after I thought I was happy with them. Maybe that "when I'm finally tired of rewriting it" thing is my definition. I'm not sure, How about you?


How about lyrics?

------------------
If I were but half as good as Dawg...I'd be twice as good as most.

Don't take more than your love can buy,
Don't live faster than your angel can fly...
Hal Ketchum

Alan on Soundclick

Alan's Web Site

#199286 - 11/30/06 07:47 PM Re: When Do You Consider Your Song/Lyric Finished?  
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Linda Sings Offline
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Scorpio
Hi Alan,
I'll start. I just read the other topic this stemmed from. [Linked Image]

I feel a song is "finished" when I have all these parts in satisfactory condition: lyric, melody, structure. And with luck, that includes a lead sheet so I can remember/play the thing later (and so can others).

I'm "iffy" on the lead sheets (see my other post in the other topic). But if I'm ready to sing/play it out, am happy with the lyrics, the melody is set, and I'm no longer rearranging where the bridge goes and what order the verses are in etc. then I call it "done."

"PUBLISHED" is another beast entirely. That's putting it all together, arranging, and releasing on a medium. I can have a couple of novels and dozens of short stories "finished" but not published yet--sitting in a drawer or on an editor's desk.

I feel the same way when it comes to songs.

Finished when they're singable.
They will ALWAYS be tweaked. Just my MO.

Linda


------------------
Linda Adams
Read about my novels:
http://www.alyssastory.com
Bits & pieces of music:
www.soundclick.com/lindaadams

#199287 - 11/30/06 07:49 PM Re: When Do You Consider Your Song/Lyric Finished?  
Joined: Jan 2001
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Johnny Daubert Offline
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Johnny Daubert  Offline
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New Jersey, USA
I thought a song we were recording at Sub's was finished before starting that process! Nope! Sub thought of something for the ending, and Bam! Took what was thought to be a finsihed last chorus and NOW it's finished! I think! If it goes somewhere else, say another band want to play it, then they might want to do some things.

For a writer though? Same thing I guess, with studio finishing touches maybe leading to reriting a line here or there,,,or everywhere!

Songs from long ago that I thought were finished then? Just to mess around with? Some no! I felt a need to changes some things.

Even mixes can get changed.

Their finished when we're finished! And maybe not then either.

John


Actually a Member Since 1996 or 97 (Number One Hundred Something).
https://www.soundclick.com/bands3/default.cfm?bandID=1409522





#199288 - 12/01/06 12:38 AM Re: When Do You Consider Your Song/Lyric Finished?  
Joined: Sep 2006
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Noel Downs Offline
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Noel Downs  Offline
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Gungal NSW Australia
I read hear somewhere a quote that went something like

"The songs not finished till it's recorded... and then it's not finished till it's a hit"

Cheers

------------------


http://www.soundclick.com/whichdoctor


Toerance means if you don't like something you ignore it




http://www.soundclick.com/noeldownsandfriends


Tolerance means if you don't like something you ignore it
#199289 - 12/01/06 01:19 AM Re: When Do You Consider Your Song/Lyric Finished?  
Joined: Oct 2006
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Terry Moore Offline
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Terry Moore  Offline
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Joined: Oct 2006
Posts: 691
United Kingdom
Personally for me ..when i'm totally happy with the end result..then the song is in the "finished" inbox...but experience has taught me,the longer i wander down this Songwriting highway..the bar gets raised higher as i travel along it..what i regarded as "finished" songs i was writing say a couple of years ago..probably would'nt pass the mustard test nowadays...it is for me personally at least..an eternal learning curve..improvement is a must,to the best of your abilities...then if your lucky enough to get it say, pitched to a publisher..then taken to the next level and proffesionally recorded..can it be improved upon again?
Yes...most of the time..if they hear something worth recording..they also hear something worth improving...

#199290 - 12/01/06 01:39 AM Re: When Do You Consider Your Song/Lyric Finished?  
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 13,618
Graham Henderson (D) Offline
Graham Henderson (D)  Offline

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Esperance. West Australia
When I really, really hate it.
Even then, it does not get trashed, as ther has to be something in it that got me started in the first place, and so, some of it may go somewhere yet.
Never totally trash a thought is my thought on the matter.
Graham

------------------
http://www.soundclick.com/bands/2/grahamhenderson_music.htm

#199291 - 12/01/06 02:09 AM Re: When Do You Consider Your Song/Lyric Finished?  
Joined: Sep 2006
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Monica L. Yasher Offline
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Joined: Sep 2006
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Pittsburgh, PA
Graham,

(LOL)You should be a lyricist! It's really cool when you can get the same set of words to mean more than one thing. Do you write country? I hope so!

I've never gotten to the formal demo stage.
Yet in workshops, it seems that everyone had one. I have the songs in my head.
Can sing accapella. Don't play an instrument. So for me, done means good lyrics that work with a great melody. I haven't even hit on the harmonies that everyone speaks of. I'm still on the basics. I sing it into a tape recorder so I don't forget them! I wish I could figure out how to use this new computer to capture that instead. At least I could post the tunes without instruments to get opinions.

Thanks for thinking up these thoughtful questions! It is great to share experiences.

Monica

#199292 - 12/01/06 02:14 AM Re: When Do You Consider Your Song/Lyric Finished?  
Joined: Aug 2006
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Jack Swain Offline
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Jack Swain  Offline
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Berwyn, IL, US
I consider anything I write is subject to change, regardless of how long ago I wrote it. I usually do not revise old songs, but I have on occasion.

Dylan revises his songs in one way or another with some regularity. I have seen him perform live on a number of occasions and I have never heard him repeat a song the same way from one tour to the next. He usually changes his rhythm patterns and sometimes he will rewrite verses or add new verses to old songs. I have watched him do this since the sixties and the idea stuck with me that a songwriter should consider a piece as if it were in a constant state of evolution, rather than a fixed piece. I am not anywhere near as flexible as Dylan in this, but I reserve the right to be, if I choose.

[This message has been edited by swainja (edited 11-30-2006).]

#199293 - 12/01/06 04:33 AM Re: When Do You Consider Your Song/Lyric Finished?  
Joined: May 2001
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Graham Henderson (D) Offline
Graham Henderson (D)  Offline

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Esperance. West Australia
LOL.
Me a lyricist MidniteBlue?
Whoops. Editing here.
I got the monika wrong Monica.
Twilightblue. Sorry.
Read on.
Never.
Then I would have to rely on musicians to find music for me.
Rather stay a poet and just use the jammer program from www.soundtrek.com to make fake backings for me to sing mthe melodies that come along with most of my poems, and pretend they are demos of songs.
And yep.
I write country.
And just about anything else depending on how drunk or sober I am at any given time.
Or wheather I'm in or out of love.
Or what the kids are alying on me right then.
or if my car is running or not.
or my dog just died, or licked me.
Graham

------------------
http://www.soundclick.com/bands/2/grahamhenderson_music.htm

[This message has been edited by Graham (edited 12-01-2006).]

#199294 - 12/02/06 02:47 PM Re: When Do You Consider Your Song/Lyric Finished?  
Joined: Feb 2001
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Two Singers Offline
Two Singers  Offline

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Joined: Feb 2001
Posts: 9,649
Northern Alabama
Linda,

Thanks for yout comments. And yeah, tweaking is an ongoing ritual that runs me ragged sometime. Immediately after tweaking a lyric, I always think I enhanced it. And then a month or so later, I sometimes wonder if it was better before the tweak. Frustrating! I have 4 or 5 songs right now for which I have a couple of different (although similar) versions for that very reason. Oh well! Thanks again for your thoughts.

Alan

------------------
If I were but half as good as Dawg...I'd be twice as good as most.

Don't take more than your love can buy,
Don't live faster than your angel can fly...
Hal Ketchum

Alan on Soundclick

Alan's Web Site

[This message has been edited by sideman66 (edited 12-02-2006).]

#199295 - 12/02/06 02:57 PM Re: When Do You Consider Your Song/Lyric Finished?  
Joined: Feb 2001
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Two Singers Offline
Two Singers  Offline

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Northern Alabama
John,

Appreciate your insights an this. I think your answer is somwhat similar, thiough not exactly the same, to me idea that it isn't ever really finished...you just get tired of rewriting (or tweaking).

BTW, John, have you ever written a lyric...exclusive of the music, just the lyric, that you've never gone back and tweaked because you thought you had a better line or better way of saying a word or two? I am referring to after the initial writing session. Let me clarify just a little...during the composition phase, we will write and rerwrite until we finally have a completed lyric that seems okay. I have a couple, but they're few and far between. Thanks!

Alan

------------------
If I were but half as good as Dawg...I'd be twice as good as most.

Don't take more than your love can buy,
Don't live faster than your angel can fly...
Hal Ketchum

Alan on Soundclick

Alan's Web Site

#199296 - 12/02/06 02:59 PM Re: When Do You Consider Your Song/Lyric Finished?  
Joined: Feb 2001
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Two Singers Offline
Two Singers  Offline

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Joined: Feb 2001
Posts: 9,649
Northern Alabama
Noel,

Hi, and thanks for dropping in. Yes, I have also heard that before. That may be the most common answer, stated in various ways. Thanks!

Alan.

------------------
If I were but half as good as Dawg...I'd be twice as good as most.

Don't take more than your love can buy,
Don't live faster than your angel can fly...
Hal Ketchum

Alan on Soundclick

Alan's Web Site

#199297 - 12/02/06 03:06 PM Re: When Do You Consider Your Song/Lyric Finished?  
Joined: Feb 2001
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Two Singers Offline
Two Singers  Offline

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Joined: Feb 2001
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Northern Alabama
Midnightoil,

Don't think we've met before. Yhe pleasure is mine!

I think you bring up a very interesting and valid point. As our songwriting skills improve, our expectations and criteria for satisfaction should should also rise to a higher level. That, in and of itself, should probably require rewrites of many lyrics written at times when our skills were lesser than they are at a later time. Good point!

Alan

------------------
If I were but half as good as Dawg...I'd be twice as good as most.

Don't take more than your love can buy,
Don't live faster than your angel can fly...
Hal Ketchum

Alan on Soundclick

Alan's Web Site

#199298 - 12/02/06 03:10 PM Re: When Do You Consider Your Song/Lyric Finished?  
Joined: Feb 2001
Posts: 9,649
Two Singers Offline
Two Singers  Offline

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Joined: Feb 2001
Posts: 9,649
Northern Alabama
Graham,

I'm with you on the "never trash a thought" idea. I have so many partial verses, partial, choruses, single lines, etc., that I must have enough fodder for several dozen CD projects! As you said, some have been used in subsequent sings and some have actually found form in a lyric. But, I have plenty more waiting for a lyrical home! Thanks!

Alan

------------------
If I were but half as good as Dawg...I'd be twice as good as most.

Don't take more than your love can buy,
Don't live faster than your angel can fly...
Hal Ketchum

Alan on Soundclick

Alan's Web Site

#199299 - 12/02/06 03:24 PM Re: When Do You Consider Your Song/Lyric Finished?  
Joined: Feb 2001
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Two Singers Offline
Two Singers  Offline

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Joined: Feb 2001
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Northern Alabama
Monica,

Thanks for looking in on this and offering your thoughts for the rest of us. All of us were at the "basic level" when we started. It is a matter of where we take it from there. Some folks lose interest and move on to other things. but some, as we do, try to take it to the next step. I, too, have never had a "finished demoA" done. I record my own music, although not at demo quality. I can play enough intruments, except drums, to do all the musical parts...and I have computerized drum tracks!

Here is a suggestion for you so you can record your songs onto your computer. Go to Google and type in "Audacity Recrding". It will give you a listing for Audacity's homepage. It is probably Audacity.com but I am not sure about that. They have a FREE...yep FREE... [Linked Image] recording that is very simple to use. It will record your music in a wav file. If you want, you can use other software to convert it to an MP3. Almost all computers will play both wave and MP3. the advantage to converting it to an MP3 is that it takes up literally one-tenth of your hardrive space as a wav. But, an MP3 is a slightly lesser quality recording because of the compression. If all of that makes no sense to you, just record into the Audacity player and let it save it automatically as a wav file. It will give you the opportunity to name the recording when you save it. All you have to do in order to record your voice, or what you want record, is plug a microphone into the "mic" port of your sound card on the back of your computer. The "mic" port should be next to the plugin for your speakers. It's that simple! Good luck!

Alan

Alan

------------------
If I were but half as good as Dawg...I'd be twice as good as most.

Don't take more than your love can buy,
Don't live faster than your angel can fly...
Hal Ketchum

Alan on Soundclick

Alan's Web Site

#199300 - 12/02/06 03:32 PM Re: When Do You Consider Your Song/Lyric Finished?  
Joined: Feb 2001
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Two Singers Offline
Two Singers  Offline

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Northern Alabama
swainja,

Appreciate you taking time to comment. I probably don't rewrite as much as the typical songwriter does, although I do plenty! It is not that I am inflexible. Heck, anytime I, or anyone else, can make an improvement to anything I have written, new or ages ago, I am all for it. Once I reach a point of satisfaction, I am less inclined to mess with it unless another idea really blows me away.

I am not a perfectionist, nor do I attempt to be. I just try for really, really good. that's a step or two below perfection. I just work very hard at what I do and I am fairly objective about my efforts. I know anything could always be better. However, if I aspired for perfection, I would spend my entire life suffering from futility and frustration! I don't really need that! perhaps that sets me apart from other songwriters...I don't know.

Alan

------------------
If I were but half as good as Dawg...I'd be twice as good as most.

Don't take more than your love can buy,
Don't live faster than your angel can fly...
Hal Ketchum

Alan on Soundclick

Alan's Web Site

#199301 - 12/02/06 08:37 PM Re: When Do You Consider Your Song/Lyric Finished?  
Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 7,831
Dave Rice (D) Offline
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Dave Rice (D)  Offline
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Posts: 7,831
Texas
Alan and Gang:

I almost never consider a song as finished. Just when I think it's nearly perfect, a day or two later, the song fairy visits me again and tells me what I need to do differently.

Seriously, I suppose one of my songs will be "finished" when it's recorded by somebody in the big leagues like Don Williams or George Strait. (All this assumes that I like the version they do!) I have one song that I have recut or done a partial re-write 14 times. Obsessive? Maybe! Compulsive? Yes!

Well, gotta go now. Time to watch my Hogs get slaughtered by the Florida Gators.

Seasons Greetings everyone,

Dave Rice

#199302 - 12/02/06 09:33 PM Re: When Do You Consider Your Song/Lyric Finished?  
Joined: Sep 2006
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Monica L. Yasher Offline
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Monica L. Yasher  Offline
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Joined: Sep 2006
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Pittsburgh, PA
Wow! For Free? Thank you for the input.
I'll have to give it a try, so you may be hearing from me again next weekend.

Thanks!

#199303 - 12/02/06 11:36 PM Re: When Do You Consider Your Song/Lyric Finished?  
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 13,618
Graham Henderson (D) Offline
Graham Henderson (D)  Offline

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Posts: 13,618
Esperance. West Australia
Alan speaks true Twilight Blue.
I use Audacity, and it works dead easy.
Not It does not come with a MiMMe concerrtter for saving MP3 files which you need to put music on the net most often, but one of them is free also in Cdex. Typing that in your browser will probably find that one as well.
If not, a link to it is on SongRamp Home page.

Graham

------------------
http://www.soundclick.com/bands/2/grahamhenderson_music.htm

[This message has been edited by Graham (edited 12-02-2006).]

#199304 - 12/03/06 02:18 AM Re: When Do You Consider Your Song/Lyric Finished?  
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Two Singers Offline
Two Singers  Offline

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Northern Alabama
Dave,

Good evening, and thanks for looking in on this. I appreciate your time and your thoughts.

And yeah, I think most songwriters have that same feeling, in one way or another...it's really never finished. But, eventually we have to quit rewriting at somne point if we plan on pitching it. If ya pitch it and somebody actually listens, and even more miraculously...likes it, chances are that they like what was provided to them, rather than an additional reincarnation. Maybe that's a good time to say it's finished. Till then, keep revising as needed or as desired. Whatcha think?

Alan

------------------
If I were but half as good as Dawg...I'd be twice as good as most.

Don't take more than your love can buy,
Don't live faster than your angel can fly...
Hal Ketchum

Alan on Soundclick

Alan's Web Site

[This message has been edited by sideman66 (edited 12-02-2006).]

#199305 - 12/03/06 02:23 AM Re: When Do You Consider Your Song/Lyric Finished?  
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Posts: 9,649
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Joined: Feb 2001
Posts: 9,649
Northern Alabama
Twilight (aka Monica),

You are welcome. Hope it works out for ya. looking forward to a listen. Good luck. If you need an help with it after you download it, just let me know. Would be more than happy to help as much as I can.

Alan

------------------
If I were but half as good as Dawg...I'd be twice as good as most.

Don't take more than your love can buy,
Don't live faster than your angel can fly...
Hal Ketchum

Alan on Soundclick

Alan's Web Site

#199306 - 12/03/06 02:27 AM Re: When Do You Consider Your Song/Lyric Finished?  
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Posts: 9,649
Northern Alabama
Hey Graham,

Internal rhyme in your first line of reply. The ever-alert lyricist! Good show!

Alan

------------------
If I were but half as good as Dawg...I'd be twice as good as most.

Don't take more than your love can buy,
Don't live faster than your angel can fly...
Hal Ketchum

Alan on Soundclick

Alan's Web Site

#199307 - 12/05/06 12:03 PM Re: When Do You Consider Your Song/Lyric Finished?  
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Barry Nelson Offline
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Barry Nelson  Offline
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madison,tennessee, USA
enjoyed this thread

#199308 - 12/06/06 01:55 AM C  
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Greg Pospiel  Offline
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X
C

Last edited by gpsongwriter; 08/01/15 02:00 PM.

V
#199309 - 12/06/06 02:09 AM Re: When Do You Consider Your Song/Lyric Finished?  
Joined: Feb 2001
Posts: 9,649
Two Singers Offline
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Joined: Feb 2001
Posts: 9,649
Northern Alabama
acousticwriter,

Welcome to JPF. Glad you enjoyed the thread. Check out all of the boards here at JPF and see which ones hold your interest. There's a bunch to like around here!

Alan

------------------
If I were but half as good as Dawg...I'd be twice as good as most.

Don't take more than your love can buy,
Don't live faster than your angel can fly...
Hal Ketchum

Alan on Soundclick

Alan's Web Site

#199310 - 12/06/06 02:25 AM Re: When Do You Consider Your Song/Lyric Finished?  
Joined: Feb 2001
Posts: 9,649
Two Singers Offline
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Top 20 Poster

Joined: Feb 2001
Posts: 9,649
Northern Alabama
gpsongwriter,

Thanks for looking in on this and commenting. In theory, what you say is correct. And in application it is also technically correct.

However, in practical application, there comes a point at which you say "This is about as good as I can get it at this time.". Of course, that leaves open the possibility and probability of a little tinkering or tightening up later. I consider a song finished when it is good enough that I can pitch it and feel good about the product I am pitching. Minor tweaks later? Sure, if needed. But if minor tweaks is all that is needed, I say, for practical purposes, it's finished. It's kind of like rebuilding the engine on a car or truck. After it is put together and everything is running as it should, it is finished. But, you could always go back and put a bigger carburetor on it, or chrome valve covers, or whatever. By my definition, you are simply dressing up a done deal. But, of course, that is just my definition and opinion. And yours could be different. And either of us, or both of us, could be right! [Linked Image]

Thanks again for taking the time to comment. I do appreciate it.

Alan

------------------
If I were but half as good as Dawg...I'd be twice as good as most.

Don't take more than your love can buy,
Don't live faster than your angel can fly...
Hal Ketchum

Alan on Soundclick

Alan's Web Site

[This message has been edited by sideman66 (edited 12-05-2006).]


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