If you are in the creative process of making music, then you will sometimes find yourself storing and tucking away a vast amount of ruff ideas hoping one day you will return to them and rehash that hit record or song you were trying to create in the first place. I have been in that situation plenty of times, probably more than I would like to admit. But here are three easy steps that can help recycle those old ideas and maybe even get you to make the most of a catalog you are already sitting on.
Step 1. Treat each old idea as a new one.
Try and treat an old idea/beat/track/or song as a new project to tackle. For instance if someone were to give you a project to work on and all they had were the elements that are found in your old idea then with working only with that how would you remix it, or flip it to make it your own. Now I know its already some what your own idea but the trick is to treat it as a new outside project with the goal of remixing it or changing completely. You can also try Resampling Yourself… Record the whole idea together as a 4-8 bar loop and treat it as a sample and try pitching it up or down a couple semitones and hopefully that will get you inspire to move in another direction.
Step 2. Two ideas are better than one.
Take some elements from one beat or track and maybe copy and past them over to another beat just to see what happens. this might get you moving in a whole new direction, and might get you out of the writers block you had the day you wrote one of the old ideas.
Step 3. One person’s idea is another person’s hit!
If you haven’t been open to the idea of collaborating on the production of your music, then maybe sharing old ideas that you no longer want to deal with can be really helpful letting you do so. You can share the files you have lying around and simply tell the person “Hey these have been on my drive for a while and i just can’t seem to add anymore to them, would you like to see what you can do with them?” and give them total freedom and liberty to go any direction they choose with your ideas. the same could also apply for you from that person old ideas.