My songwriting goes through quite a few stages. Some of the stages are consistent while others come and go depending on the song. But no matter what, every song I write goes through this specific stage that I call "the broken record." I'd say it is the most frustrating step of them all, even more difficult to overcome than working from the original idea at the birth of a song.
Basically, this step in the process involves playing a completed section of a new song over and over again. And I mean over and over and over and over again. The drive my fiance insane give myself blisters kind of over and over. For example, I'm working on a new tune called "Set You Off." I have a concrete main riff on the guitar, a first verse and a chorus. I have been looping this section over and over again in it's entirety day after day, week after week.
Logically, I'm replaying it to eventually add on and complete the song. Some of my best ideas have come while just playing and fumbling upon something. Yes, there's always the option of recording that clip and listening on my headphones, in turn, not pushing my finance and neighbors into madness with my incessant strumming and screaming. Even though I always do record my progress, it's never really worked well for me to write without my guitar sitting in my lap.
The most frustrating part of this stage is not knowing how long it will last. Sometimes a song comes together in a day or a few days without having to play the riff into oblivion. Other times, like this new song, weeks go by with the same riff, the same melodies, the same lyrics going unchanged, rolling on like a broken record from hell.
Especially lately, things have been working out for the best when it comes to this monotonous stage of my songwriting as I've written more songs this year so far as I did all last year. (Good songs that I feel confident and proud of to boot. Like "Forbidden.") Really I just need to push through, concentrate and continue to do what I love doing, not worrying about what people think. In fact, right now it's time to stop typing and grab the guitar and play this riff a couple hundred more times before bed time. This song isn't going to write itself. Sorry honey, I'll try to keep it down.