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Old 02-07-2012, 03:13 PM   #41
Panic
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Originally Posted by robo View Post
Mine are mnemonic in relation to what the rhythm or melody of the idea is, such as: Backawacka, Oooahh, Bwink Bwonk and so on.

Needless to say it's totally ineffective.
LOL. I have a few of those myself. chunkchunk, dinkdink, bungadahdah.

Speaking of that, Mason Williams has a song called "Doot Doot".
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Old 02-08-2012, 07:06 AM   #42
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I have had a look at Tabbles (http://tabbles.net/index.php)

I wrongly thought it wasn't free, but as long as you are only tagging on a single pc it is. It is only when you want to share tags over a network of some kind you have to pay.

It works a lot better than TaggedFrog. In the latter you can only have one big collection of tag words, in Tabbles you can arrange things in trees, like: Music divided into genre, bpm, key, composer etc. Also once you just figure it out I think it's a lot more intuitive than TaggedFrog. It basically looks like Windows Explorer, and a the left you have your tags. When searching you just move tags to the upper line where you would normally have a directory path.

Also I believe it can do a lot of automatic tagging when files are added to certain directories for instance. But I have not had time to look into that yet.
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Old 02-08-2012, 08:32 PM   #43
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i just trash things now and than, dont need it ever

but number one sounds like a best way to do it, if you collect ideas

sorry, i wasn't helpful :/
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Old 02-09-2012, 02:24 PM   #44
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The one aspect to what I am thinking - no filter, just put stuff out there - is that oftentimes (for me, at least) there's a vibe to the Original Idea as Recorded that is somewhat unquantifiable. If I was a signed act, moneyed producer, etc. maybe I could try to make projects of Another Gazillion Ideas.

But I don't have that situation at play. So my reasoning is that while I would never have wanted *musicians* to hear some of the things I come up with casually, I'm not sure I can objectively say "a non-musician would have a problem with this". In fact, if anything, I'm of the frame of mind that the x-factor is accentuated. The guitar lick that has the "subjectively less than perfect intonation" may actually be what infers the unique vibe of something. Anti "pro"-Tooled approach.

Maybe or maybe not, but personally I'm tired of most every music website being predominantly more about the tangible *business* aspects of "the music industry", all of my musician friends being in full-promo mode 24/7, reading Big Shots saying things like "well, you don't want to compress a mix to death but it needs to have a competitive level". "Competitive level"? WTF, I just want to play music.

"Yeah, and that's why you're poor". Whatever.

/ get off my lawn
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Old 02-09-2012, 08:24 PM   #45
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I have an "Ideas" folder and within it i have sub-folders : AAA, B, C, D, E and NEW.
New ideas go in 'new' and every now and again when it starts to get full i go through them and move them into sub folders based on how good/shit i think they are. Sorta like weeding for ideas. The good ideas sit in 'AAA' and these are the tunes that usually end up getting finished.
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Old 02-09-2012, 09:12 PM   #46
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I'm tired of most every music website being predominantly more about the tangible *business* aspects of "the music industry", all of my musician friends being in full-promo mode 24/7, reading Big Shots saying things like "well, you don't want to compress a mix to death but it needs to have a competitive level".
And all your songs need to be under four minutes long.
The hook of the chorus needs to be the title.
The form needs to be something very much like verse, chorus, verse, chorus, middle eight, chorus, chorus.
The first chorus needs to happen within the first 45 seconds.

All music, in fact, needs to sound exactly the same, because that's what people want.

Wherever would we be without experts?
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Old 02-09-2012, 09:52 PM   #47
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The name is always random but with some meaning based on the riff or anything that connects what it sounds like to a word. That becomes the project name which is then rendered as MP3 under that same name to a folder called "Tune Bucket". If I name this way, all I need is to see the name and I can remember what it sounds like. That mental link between the visual of the file name and how it sounds is the key.

As far as dates/times etc, I use the file information for that since I never modify these exported MP3 ideas. Whenever I'm in the mood I open the folder and listen to various ones. If I get inspired etc, I just open the reaper project with the same name. It may not be fancy system but requires very few documentary steps and has been very consistent.

Thats for ideas, for Reaper projects, each project in its own folder every time/no exceptions still using the same names as above. One thing I also do, If I have a multi-song project I open up in multiple tabs (SWS Project List) then add a blank project called "notes". In that notes project (tab 1) all the tracks are Empty Items with text notes which document everything needed for the actual songs such as the song list, mics used, to do lists, check lists, song lengths and anything else that I need to keep the entire group of songs/projects organized.
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Old 02-17-2012, 09:16 AM   #48
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My work is 100% MIDI. I have some elaborate orchestral templates I use to start from. All routing, volume levels, reverb, etc. is already done.

I also have media items on all tracks, lasting about 10 minutes.

After the 10-minute point, I use this area for a scratchpad. When I come up with an idea I like, I do some adjusting there and cut/paste it to the beginning of the project.

I also drop markers into spots I like in the scratchpad. We can color markers now so I color markers I really like green.

Some general tips:
1.) Focus on one aspect of the song for a while. Either groove, melody, harmony or chord progressions.

2.) I find starting from the percussion section to be a great way to start finding a mood for a song. Especially chromatic percussion like timpani or marimba.

3.) Try writing without the grid nor the click track. Sometimes the music doesn't fit right within these confinements.
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Old 02-18-2012, 04:26 AM   #49
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glad to know that apprently most of the reaper world is in astate of kaos and konfusion regarding song organizing

i finally found a solution (may not be for most) : i stopped doodling....i play and play and play, but only set out to save a reaper project when it looks like its gonna be a song.

i have a folder called new album 2012, and all subfolders for tracks insdie, actually called track 1 , track 2 etc.....

i keep notes in a small notepad (w/ lyrics and all)

works great ! actually finished a focused album in record time....

remember, its for people who think in terms of albums
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Old 02-18-2012, 08:33 AM   #50
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Default Really helpful ideas.....

Both Suleiman and Mikeroephonics have some really cool ideas for organization!

Thanks.
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Old 02-18-2012, 10:30 AM   #51
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Originally Posted by dea-man View Post
Both Suleiman and Mikeroephonics have some really cool ideas for organization!

Thanks.
Thanks. I should upload my project template. It would make your head spin. I recommend making a universal project template, with a sub-folder for song template. You can always update it and use it for new projects & songs.
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Old 02-18-2012, 10:38 AM   #52
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Here's a few I left out:

1.) The human mind loves arps for some reason. I strongly recommend understanding various scales and chord progressions. They can have powerful effects on mood.

2.) Once you have a melody established (if you're starting from there, that is), counterpoint it with another instrument. For example, viola ensemble melody with a french horn for counterpoint.

I like to think of counterpoint as something like two (or more) people having a conversion.

2.) I tend to think of harmonizing as a means to create texture or "weight" in a song. It helps strengthen the intended mood.

Here are some excellent examples from one of the masters, Nobuo Uematsu:

"Final Fantasy VIII - Fithos Lusec Wecos Vinosec":
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nw051_TIux0

More from the same CD. This whole album is great:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&fe...&v=AmhyDUEphqc

And my favorite cut from the album:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ywZ5i...eature=related
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Old 02-18-2012, 10:57 PM   #53
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Thanks. I should upload my project template. It would make your head spin. I recommend making a universal project template, with a sub-folder for song template. You can always update it and use it for new projects & songs.
Would love to see and check this out. Maybe you should write a book, or at least a dedicated post with your ideas, for everybody to take notes.

Good job!
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Old 02-19-2012, 01:51 AM   #54
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Thanks. I should upload my project template. It would make your head spin. I recommend making a universal project template, with a sub-folder for song template. You can always update it and use it for new projects & songs.
yes that is something i forgot to mention to : in the interests of consistency of sound for one album/project i use a pre-defined template with an inserted drum template...

since most of my stuff is rock/metal oriented it usually inlcudes guitar rhtym folders, guitar lead folders, drum folder, bass track, synth track and vocal folders

i tend to use the same eq and dist plugs , again for consistency of sound (mostly metal clone, reaeq and boss sd sim for bass)

interesting ideas all around
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Old 02-19-2012, 02:44 AM   #55
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Yes, cool advice from Mikeroephonics and Suleiman. I already use some of the tips after reading far too many books on songwriting and mixing...

As to using templates, I would like to point out that I love the way Reaper can work with track templates. So instead of having one big template I build my projects from modules. One with a track template with Drumsampler and all tracks for indidual kit parts, maybe Jamstix in there too. Another track template for guitar tracks etc. You get the idea.

Everything routes to a template I call Stems: the final routing before you go to the master track, one track for each group like vocals, drums, guitars. I mainly use this for volume balancing the groups to each other. Having them all beside each other makes this simple. And besides they are all side by side on my Mackie Control Unit for quick adjustments while working on other things.

Another template thing for me: I always use the same color for the same instrument. And I have also designated midi channels to certain instruments in the same way. E.g. piano is always channel 13, so I don't have to spend time looking in tracks to find that out.

And to go a bit overboard, since I have a lot of guitars, I have given them all girl's names so that when recording I just use their names for the recording tracks. Things like "Red Strat" won't do, because next year I may have another red Strat sounding differently.
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Old 02-19-2012, 08:36 AM   #56
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Default Another intersting idea!

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Yes, cool advice from Mikeroephonics and Suleiman. I already use some of the tips after reading far too many books on songwriting and mixing...

As to using templates, I would like to point out that I love the way Reaper can work with track templates. So instead of having one big template I build my projects from modules. One with a track template with Drumsampler and all tracks for indidual kit parts, maybe Jamstix in there too. Another track template for guitar tracks etc. You get the idea.

Everything routes to a template I call Stems: the final routing before you go to the master track, one track for each group like vocals, drums, guitars. I mainly use this for volume balancing the groups to each other. Having them all beside each other makes this simple. And besides they are all side by side on my Mackie Control Unit for quick adjustments while working on other things.

Another template thing for me: I always use the same color for the same instrument. And I have also designated midi channels to certain instruments in the same way. E.g. piano is always channel 13, so I don't have to spend time looking in tracks to find that out.

And to go a bit overboard, since I have a lot of guitars, I have given them all girl's names so that when recording I just use their names for the recording tracks. Things like "Red Strat" won't do, because next year I may have another red Strat sounding differently.
Is it possible to get you to upload your project set-up somewhere? This sounds really interesting.

Also, is there a link to some of your music?

Hey guys, these are great ideas!
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Old 02-19-2012, 10:41 AM   #57
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Definitely some good ideas from Mikeroephonics and Suleiman, but I'm not seeing how they apply to the problem of organizing a large body of disparate musical ideas.
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Old 02-19-2012, 10:48 AM   #58
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Definitely some good ideas from Mikeroephonics and Suleiman, but I'm not seeing how they apply to the problem of organizing a large body of disparate musical ideas.
my idea as of 2011-2012 (as stated above) is basically not to leave unfinished scraps, instead finishing what is worth finishing and deleting the rest

@dea-man : dig ur modular approach..so far i only use a drum track templated...but im gonna expand this for everything
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Old 02-19-2012, 11:11 AM   #59
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Definitely some good ideas from Mikeroephonics and Suleiman, but I'm not seeing how they apply to the problem of organizing a large body of disparate musical ideas.
My approach is to eliminate a large body of work by fidng out how to make it better. Delete if needed, yes, but you'd better be really sure. The main point is to learn how to improve songwriting techniques so the quality of all songs is increased to a satisfactory level.

As far as organizing a large body of work, I recommend either naming the project/song folder by date, and/or by mood.

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my idea as of 2011-2012 (as stated above) is basically not to leave unfinished scraps, instead finishing what is worth finishing and deleting the rest
I think that's sometimes good practice but so many good ideas can be hidden away in even the most simple melodies or musical pieces. It's difficult to be sure if something is really worth ditching.
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Old 02-19-2012, 11:14 AM   #60
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my idea as of 2011-2012 (as stated above) is basically not to leave unfinished scraps, instead finishing what is worth finishing and deleting the rest
Yeah, I got that. I guess avoiding the problem in the first place is a solution. But, it doesn't really help with what's already piled up, unless you are suggesting we delete it all and start from scratch.

Thanks

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Old 02-20-2012, 02:10 AM   #61
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the only other method that actually addresses your problem requires time and effort.

Set a housekeeping day or two, just to go through your collection of unfinished songs. Dont spend more than 10 minutes deciding on each, and save the important ones with proper file names in sorted folders (album/year/upto you) so that you can include them in your next album. the others can be deleted, and if it pains you too much, before deletion you could mix down to mp3 and add a little text file about how/why etc.

You will suddenly free up a lot of space on your hard drive, and have half done songs ready for working on for next release. USE these musical dieas while generating new ideas (as your backing track etc).
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Old 02-20-2012, 04:59 AM   #62
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It's interesting hearing about the different ways that you all work. Some people seem ruthless about deleting old ideas; something that definitely wouldn't work for me.

However, the reason I started this thread was not to work out how to complete a finished song from an idea. That, in my opinion, is a different matter and deserves it's own thread. In this thread we encourage the practise of keeping those fleeting moments of musical transcendence.

My problem relates to cataloguing and organising a vault's worth of ideas that spans a decade and continues to grow. From reading this thread it appears that some of you can't stand to keep ideas that are very basic or unfinished. Personally speaking, that's something I love! The experience of digging out an idea from 5 years ago and transforming it is one highly rewarding aspect of my work. The only problem is how to sort through it all in an efficient manner.

There have been some excellent suggestions so far that have really got me to start thinking seriously about a new system. Please keep those ideas coming!

Tim. :-D
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Old 02-20-2012, 09:17 AM   #63
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Default Of course, there is always....

...the more serendipitous, Brian Eno, type method.

1. Simply number all your old pieces of music.
2. Put all the numbers in a box.
3. Relax. Breathe.
4. Draw 4-5 numbers and make them into a song.
5. Repeat.

Done!
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Old 02-22-2012, 05:54 AM   #64
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...the more serendipitous, Brian Eno, type method.

1. Simply number all your old pieces of music.
2. Put all the numbers in a box.
3. Relax. Breathe.
4. Draw 4-5 numbers and make them into a song.
5. Repeat.

Done!
that seems to also be the recipe for :
a) a LOT of the late 80's / early 90's technical thrash bands
b) around 80-90 % of the modern technical metalcore/ prog djent core / technical brutal death metal bands

seems eno was onto something there....it also makes for almost entirely souless directionless songs
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Old 02-22-2012, 11:50 AM   #65
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As with everything else, it depends how you use it.
What makes for souless, directionless songs is souless, directionless artists.
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Old 02-22-2012, 12:47 PM   #66
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As with everything else, it depends how you use it.
What makes for souless, directionless songs is souless, directionless artists.
100% Amen, brother!
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Old 02-22-2012, 04:42 PM   #67
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99%. I'm pretty sure there are two ls in soulless.
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Old 02-25-2012, 03:06 PM   #68
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Best thing I could come up with was to begin saving them by month and year. My file names look like so now:

[BPM][GENRE][RANDOM_NAME]

and I save them in folders like this

year > month > file
Was thinking about this earlier. Had not thought about adding BPM or GENRE, just the date. Great idea.
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Old 02-25-2012, 03:11 PM   #69
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Just installed a extra internal 1TB hard drive. Was thinking about how to best organize my ideas. Great timing for me to run into this thread. Thanks!
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Old 01-06-2020, 03:50 PM   #70
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High time to resurrect this thread (sue me), what are people using these days (inc. new Reaper functionality if relevant)?
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Old 01-06-2020, 04:46 PM   #71
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Wow 2012 - the only thing that has changed for me is I'm now going through all the ideas gathered since my last post, finishing one by one and posting them. I still gather ideas the same way but sometimes they go to my phone first if I'm in big enough a hurry and don't want to forget a melody or something. Then I'll migrate that idea to reaper later.

So this thread bump is good reminder to keep doing that.
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Old 02-16-2020, 01:04 AM   #72
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Work spanning over 11 notebooks from before I started working somewhat digitally. 4-5 data dvd disks loaded with 1-2 minute long audio files of my playing a single guitar riff so I can re-trigger my brain into pulling what muse inspired the part from the Aether. 6-7 half cassettes from recording at my deceased bassists house on his Tascam. 7 folders totalling about 130gigs with of stuff on the computer. I just put everything go into two areas in my apartment. This is how I know this. Before, collectively it was across three cities. I still work old school pen and paper. Scribblings that show notational changes in order, but nothing to help determine melodic sequencing so I can replay what I was dreaming up. Literally those number somewhere above 30-40 on any sort of paper. This stuff I hoard. It’s the one aspect of my being a metalhead shows outside of music. I have piles and collections of musical notation I’ve created. You all seem very streamlined and elaborate compared to my caveman methodology. I plan on getting everything into digital this year. I’m also teaching myself to go capture stuff in reaper once I write lately. I’m still stumped on the first group of scribblings I’m trying to decipher. Think I’ll end up putting the note changes into a synth called Cthulhu to create workable phrases between the notes. I’ve used it a couple of times for that years ago to backwards engineer other “lost” fragments of my insane glimpses into other universes.

Who needs grammar editing when you work stream of consciousness.
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Old 02-16-2020, 04:11 AM   #73
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This is how I usually keep tracking my ideas:
1. I tend to take notes as textfiles ideally holding short remember-me phrases or singalongs.
2. record anything audible on my mobilr.

I usually try to find at least some words (that even might not make any sense but sound good),
I then try to find something I knew before, which might be a Song I know from my favourite artists or whatever. I also try to give other senseful hints within the naming.
Long story short:
the audio files might be called like:
"cool starting riff_AFG_fast_electric_electricgypsy-like" or
"cool idea GTR-VOX-BSS" if it might be something that might work for Guitar, Vocals or even Bass. or
"uptempo Beat/Groove_Bonham-like"

If possible I even try to find some short phrase I might record on my mobile (Android).
The App I use is usually J4. Which enables me to even record a 4-Track and can be exported to MP3 and forwarded via WhatsApp/Mail to finally and furthermore be imported, edited and used in Reaper. This turned out to be a really straight forward workflow.
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Old 02-25-2020, 09:18 AM   #74
frood
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stratman View Post
Then I use a separate Excel spreadsheet to list the ideas. The headings of the spreadsheet are

Date Name Description Tempo Status Comments
This is somewhat similar to what I've got now (after years of disorganisation), which is a google docs spreadsheet. I find that useful because I can refer to it from pretty much anywhere. The headings for each column that I use are:

SONG - the title/working title
ALBUM - I group everything together based on when they were written or conceived.
LYRICS - link to web page with the lyrics*
TO DO NOTES - what's left to record or mix
FINAL MIX NOTES - ditto
TUNING - guitar tuning

I had vastly more columns but they weren't actually helpful so I just use what I need to keep things organised in my mind. It's not a perfect system - I have over 120 songs but I get to record very few. it's handy for when I have some spare time because it gives me a to-do list, and that can be quite effective as a means to getting my arse in gear.

*I had a long train journey so I collected all my old notebooks and diaries and typed out all the lyrics I'd written over the years and posted them to a website. not as a way of publishing them, just so I'd have them to hand. I still write things with a pen and paper, but I've also started using google docs if I have an idea when i'm out and about (or usually, when i'm on a train).

---------

I guess this doesn't really answer the original question of how to organise musical ideas, but for me the main problem has always been getting whole songs together. when I come up with a riff or chords+melody, I generally file it in my mind until some words come too, but if they don't, it'll stay there, somehow, in my memory, until it's needed.
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