Over the past year I've heard so many great clips and ideas that didn't come to fruition. It's relatively easy to come up with a good idea and lay down a concept for it, but turning it into a completed tune is another thing altogether.
The reason most people don't finish their tunes is because they lose that creative drive and the inspiration they started with after completing a small part of it. It's then easy to move on to another idea and leave this old idea to gather dust. The simple fact is that finishing a tune is going to take a little hard work that you probably wont enjoy doing. So here are some strategies I use to "bite" this bullet.
Usually I will get to a point where I have a pretty decent 32 bars going on. All I want to do is keep changing little things in this 32 bars. So imagine this situation: You just woke up, or got home from work or a party and you're feeling inspired. You turn on your daw and open your latest project. It's very easy at this point to change something which leads to changing other things. This is a critical point because you could end up doing that for hours and suddenly your time is gone.
So my first tip: Plan ahead and avoid making that first little change. If you're anything like me you can get lost easily focusing on details so going into the session with the purpose of dealing with the big picture, the tune as a whole in your mind is important.
Second tip: Use those time marking tools every sequencer has. Instead of changing a sound, just start planning where you'd like your tune to start, finish, and what should happen in the middle. For example in the FL Studio playlist you can click on the arrow at the top left of the window and go to "add time marker". Most daws will export this information with the wav file which can be useful to whoever will master the tune.
Third tip: Copy & Paste! Don't shy away from doing this just because you believe each part of your tune has to be different. To make it easier to understand imagine you are drawing a person or a complex object. All art schools will teach you to first begin with simple shapes. Use those pieces you've already made to fill in the timeline you've built using time markers. Now you have a boring but more well defined view of the whole tune! Once the whole thing is layed out you will find it easier to move from section to section and work out the details instead of working on a single section.
Fourth tip: drugs & alcahol. for me i find that smoking will make me focus intensely on details. This is good for making a brilliant sound or melody or something but if you want to finish your tune: GET DRUNK! this will make you reckless. drinking before driving is dumb because your recklessness can get people killed but drinking and sequencing is PERFECTLY SAFE. You'll find yourself at the end of your tune in no time.
Fifth tip: Keep it simple. the more complex your idea is the harder it's going to be to turn it into a finished piece of work. If you listen closely you'll notice just how simple some of your favorite tunes really are.
I hope this helps. Does anyone else have some tips?