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How Do You Do...It

5 days 5 hours ago #34 by October6th
October6th created the topic: How Do You Do...It
I'm curious to find out how people work to get the Challenge done, as this is my first one. Do you have an idea beforehand so it's just a matter of going through a list when you get going? Do you have waypoints in the month so you know you're on track? Do you just nail the door shut and don't emerge until the whole thing's in the bag? Do you not think even about it and just enjoy the journey?
The following user(s) said Thank You: rubatorem, Jim Phillips

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5 days 45 minutes ago #36 by tonyhogard
tonyhogard replied the topic: How Do You Do...It
Short answer ... yes.
However you do it is the right way to do it. Some go into the month with a detailed plan, some just wing it. You're going to discover what works for you.

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5 days 19 minutes ago - 4 days 21 hours ago #38 by klandry
klandry replied the topic: How Do You Do...It
I have completed the Challenge a number of different ways...

My first year, I heard about the Challenge only a week or two prior to February 1st. I wrote two songs in that week or two, recorded during the first couple of days, and then embarked upon a write-it-in-the-morning, rehearse-it-all-afternoon, record-it-at-night festival leaving some time at the end of the month to try to mix it to some level of listenability.

Once I determined that the best two songs on the album were the ones I wrote ahead of time, I decided to write everything before the next Challenge started. If I remember correctly, I started writing for the next RPM the week after I submitted my album. After having met so many amazing people here through blog posts and forum discussion, I asked just about everyone to help with my second RPM. I was happy with the results (although the coordination required was a challenge, both to me and the amazing musicians I was working with).

With the end result not quite meeting my high hopes for "The Greatest Album of All Time" (entirely due to my limited abilities - my collaborators were brilliant), I asked those same people to help me with a non-RPM album that was recorded throughout the following year... So, having been completely burned out by the collaborative process, my next RPM album was an utterly stripped down one mic live album recorded in three nights. Amazingly, that album may have been the best received of all the albums I've done before or since.

Realizing how good my non-RPM album came out (mostly due to the immense amount of time spent by me and given to my collaborators), I then set out for my fourth RPM album to be "The Greatest Album of All Time." I recorded demos throughout the summer. I got them into the hands of my collaborators. I rehearsed like crazy and recorded all of my parts during the first week of February, allowing my RPM co-conspirators the flexibility to find the time to record their parts (many of which had already been demo-ed and discussed in the fall). The result of the album was amazing.

Since then, I've recorded an RPM album with my daughters, a one-guitar acoustic live instrumental album, a part story / part songs inspired by those stories album, and another stripped down live one vocal / one guitar album (though not nearly as successfully as the first live album).

This year, it's just going to be me. I've written all the songs already top to bottom, and will attempt to execute them perfectly. I'm not planning on collaborating, but rarely do RPM plans go unchanged.

My greatest advice to you is to do what feels right at any given time. If you want to write something ahead of time because you have a great idea or chord progression, do it. If you want to wait to see what happens in the madness of February, go for it. If you change your mind along the way about your plan, that's great. But first and foremost, allowing yourself the freedom to do whatever you want to do is the greatest gift The Challenge presents... And the greatest gift you can present to yourself.

Keep posting in the Forums and Blogs, and get to know the crazy people here (it's a healthy crazy in most cases). Taking on The Challenge may very well be the best insane thing you've ever done.

Last Edit: 4 days 21 hours ago by klandry.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Jim Phillips

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4 days 21 hours ago #39 by angiefightscrime
angiefightscrime replied the topic: How Do You Do...It
I'm with Keith, I've done everything from had the entire album written and just recorded in February to starting from scratch Feb 1 with no ideas and no plans. My first RPM was 1/2 older songs 1/2 new songs, so there's no wrong or right way to do it.

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4 days 20 hours ago #41 by carrier_signal
carrier_signal replied the topic: How Do You Do...It
I typically WAY overanalyze the entire process and let it consume me for a month. I'm not sure I recommend this but I'm not capable of doing it any other way. That being said I like to vary my initial approach.

I'm a big fan of using RPM as a learning opportunity and typically try to figure out what I want to learn the most. Sometimes its software, hardware, a specific emotion, or sound.

For example, last year I decided my approach was going to be single take electronic songs with no computers.

Once I've figured out my approach, I do a dry run. Basically, I make a song in the style I intend to do for RPM. This irons out kinks in the setup/studio. Sometimes this can take me weeks to get right, so I try to start this as early as possible in January.

After that its just a matter of keeping your head in the game and not getting worn out after the first week.

Oh yeah, try not to get sick from lack of sleep and try to keep backups.

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4 days 19 hours ago #43 by gudzilla
gudzilla replied the topic: How Do You Do...It
I've used the "wing it" method 7 out of 8 years (and will be using it again this year). The other year I had lyrics written but not music. I'm a master procrastinator. Good luck on your first !

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