How to avoid getting stuck in a 8 bar loop
Have you ever had a great idea, you feel inspired, everything it's going great, all the instruments are just falling into place and you start to feel the groove of the track and all of the sudden you don't know how to turn this 8 bar loop into a full track.
I know this awful feeling, to feel you have a great track in your hands but don't know how to finish it, well let me help you with that.
There are many tricks I use to break this curse give up on us by the gods of music but my favorite ones are these three.
1.- It's all about arrangement.
Once you have your loop and you're are stuck on it, it's easy to start falling into a rabbit hole, what I recommend to avoid this it's simple, let's go back to basics, let's strip the idea down and start in the intro.
Start with a few sounds maybe just your main synth or piano, and begin to add new elements every 4 bar may be parts of your drums or some arpeggio you had, the idea its to keep building when you get to the bar 16 its time for one of two things, a bridge or the commonly known build before the drop, this change lasts about 8 to 16 bars and then it's your chorus or drop where all the elements of your idea live.
2.- Reference Track
If you were reading the first trick and thought well I don't know how to do a bridge or the build before the drop, this will change that, having a reference track to hear its a great way to get out of your 8 bar loop, first you need a great reference track, one in the same style of the song you want to make, then you place it in an audio track above all of your tracks and then every time a new instrument or element its introduce into the reference track add a locator to see in which bar it was added, once you have done that you will inevitably see when the verse, build or bridge and drop or chorus starts, and with this, it will be easier for you to see and analyze what is missing in your own track.
3.-Change instruments and chords progressions.
This one its a little bit harder if you don't have a lot of knowledge yet but it will take your track to a new level, let's take for example that you have a pluck rhythmic progression in your loop, what we could do is for the verse change the pluck for a piano or a synth and the rhythmic progression for long sustained notes, this will make a huge difference when you enter a new section of your track because it will add contrast and will make it sound more professional, another thing you could do is to establish your chord progression in the verse and drop but make little variations in the breakdown and/or build this will make the track stand out because you won't be using the same chord progression through the whole song.