I’m finally taking the plunge.
For the past few years, my friend Chris Greacen has been organizing an annual Song-A-Day project, where musicians write and record a new song each day for a month (thankfully he chose February, as it’s the shortest month).
The main constraint (and this is tricky for a lot of recording artists) is to focus on song creation and less on the production of the recording – there just isn’t time to obsess over getting exactly the right EQ setting on the reverb on the hi-hat when you’ve got to get the damn thing mixed and posted before bedtime. If you have any tendency toward perfectionism (ahem), this can be abject torture.
This may be a large part of why I’ve resisted participating until now, but I think I also just wasn’t sure what would be gained by the exercise. Why put yourself through that kind of pressure? What’s to be gained?
This year, I began to see how this might be a really good thing for me to do, so I’m taking a deep breath and giving it a whirl. And when it’s late at night, and I’m staring at the keyboard trying to the think of something to write, I’m going to remind myself that these are things that I hope will come out of all this:
- Give my creative life a kick in the pants. I feel like I’ve been much less disciplined about making time for music; being forced to create something new each day will be like creative boot camp. Hopefully, I can strike some sort of sustainable balance come March
- Refine my studio workflow. I’ve acquired some new gear over the past few months, and being in the studio each day will help me learn my way around.
- Generate some material for a new album. I’ve had an idea for an album-length project rolling around in my head, and I’m hoping that by the end of the month I’ll have a stockpile of raw material that I can shape into some kind of cohesive whole
- Keep perfectionism at bay for awhile. As I wrote in a previous post, there’s a time and place for perfectionism. The Song-A-Day project definitely ain’t it. I’m looking forward to spending an extended amount of time in a “create first, ask questions later” mode, and seeing what kind of effect that has on my creative process. For the rest of this month, I’ll be able to forgive myself for not obsessing, because it just won’t be an option.
If you’d like to follow my progress, you can see all of my daily work at the main Song-A-day page, and I expect I’ll be tweeting about it as well. And please let me know if anything in particular strikes your fancy – I might be too exhausted to notice it myself.
This is a great idea. I am also a perfectionist so I don’t know if I could put a tune out there that I’m not satisfied with. I wish you the best. Maybe I’ll play along next year.
Sounds pretty awesome so far, Darin! Curious to hear how you think the practice stacks up against your bullet points. (wait till week three before answering
I’ve been doing a tune a day for almost 3 months so far, you’re very rights. Creative kicks and refining studio workflow is a definite advantage.
Whoa – 3 months?? That’s impressive – I had a hard enough time with just one!