: Creating and Making Your Music
You've got your recording studio. You've got the musical ideas. Now all you need is a bit of motivation. And here it is: this February 1st, challenge yourself to create an entire album's worth of music within 28 days.
How? By joining one of two
- Record Production Month (RPM) Challenge
- February Album Writing Month (FAWM)
Music challenges like RPM and FAWM are modeled after the highly successful National Novel Writing Month (
), which challenge authors to commit to writing a 50,000 word manuscript within the month of November. Both RPM and FAWM challenge you to record an album’s worth of material within the month of February. Each one has different rules on length and submission requirements. For instance, RPM wants you to create 10 songs or 35 minutes of original music, while FAWM is looking for 14 songs.
Here are three key benefits:
- Create new material
The idea with any music challenge isn't to make something perfect! Don't get lost in that. It's about
completing the first draft
. And, from there you can always pick which songs to continue to work on, revise, add to, and
turn into a finished product -- or better yet, products
release into the world throughout the year.
- You’re not alone (network with other musicians)
All throughout February, the websites and boards are buzzing with musicians talking gear, exchanging recording and songwriting tips, and keeping each other motivated as the clock ticks to midnight on March 1st.
It's a great place to network and generate new opportunities to one another
. And then, once it’s done, the party continues usually with listening parties in cities around the world.
- Generate exposure
Participating in the challenge cangenerate exposure. The music you create can get included in jukeboxes showcasing RPM and FAWM artists, which can get you new fans. Plus, both RPM and FAWM often
work with the media to highlight the musicians taking part
. For instance, the RPM organization usually
promotes the event to radio
, including National Public Radio (NPR). Our own band's attempt at 10 songs or 35 minutes one year ended up getting
. And, once we put the finishing touches on our album,
, later that year,
it went on to become a St. Patrick’s Day favorite
and was even nominated for a couple Best Irish Album awards. Not bad for just rolling up our sleeves, diving into the challenge, and seeing what might come out of it.
There's nothing that spurs creativity more than a deadline. So, challenge yourself this year -- make some new music, meet some new musicians, get some new listeners, and use it as a way to generate potential media coverage of your work.
Sign up for one of the music challenges and write an album in the month of February.
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#yourmusic #songwriting #albumproduction #creation #challenge
Photo Credit: RPM