The One Month Album Project

The One Month Album project now has a new website designed by Iain Lowery.

For the uninitiated the One Month Album project is where musicians are challenged to write and record 10 songs or thirty-five minutes of music within a month. Then they upload the results onto BandCamp on the first of the next month. There are no rules beyond this; it can be any style or genre or music, it can be spoken word or field recordings, solo projects or collaborations.

I first took part in this challenge in 2016 and have completed it on five occasions. I have found it a liberating experience, much like writing novels for Nanowrimo, and it has transformed what I do musically.

The One Month Album Project has now completed twelve individual months (at varying different times of year) since 2013 and there are something like one hundred and fifty eight albums that have been created by many interesting and talented artists. An amazing achievement. It will continue so if you are interested in joining in and making your own album keep your eye on the website and look for the One Month Album Facebook group.

Click on the link below to dip into this marvellous cornucopia of music. You are sure to find something you love:

One Month Album

© 2019 Simon Poore

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How to write a Song…Part ONE

So. Writing songs is easy isn’t it?

Well, in some senses, yes it is.

Anyone, literally anyone, can write a rudimentary song. In fact we do it all the time. How many times have you been singing to yourself some ‘ear-worm’ version of a well-known song and getting the words or the melody all wrong? How many times have you whistled or hummed a tune and you don’t actually know what it is? It seems our brains are actually quite good at filling the gaps and creating some music, even if it’s only in our heads.

But what if you want to actually write a song? A song that is original that you created yourself? Well that’s a bit more tricky isn’t it?

Well, no actually.

SOME MYTHS:

1. ‘You need have talent’

‘Talent’ is a funny thing. People tend to think that it’s somehow ‘inbuilt’ or that we are born with it like a marathon runner is born with the physique to run 26 odd miles. This is a myth when it comes to music. Firstly who has talent and who doesn’t is a matter of opinion and secondly talent is a skill. You can learn to be judged to have talent.

2. ‘You need to master a musical instrument’

Well, only partially. You don’t need to play like a virtuoso to create pleasing music. For example you don’t need to be the best electric guitarist in the world who can shred at a hundred miles an hour or be able to play the ‘flight of the bumble bee’ on piano. People seem to equate playing ability with musical talent when the two aren’t the same thing. I have worked with classical players who were brilliant but couldn’t write a tune for toffee. Most ‘Punk’ bands in the late 70s couldn’t actually play or sing very well, it was what punk was all about, that sense of ‘DIY’.

For the purposes of this blog series I’m assuming you can play your chosen instrument at least a bit whether it be guitar or keyboard or whatever. Even if you can’t there is technology out there nowadays that can help. Maybe I’ll talk about that in later blog posts.

3. ‘You need to read music’

Again this is a myth. Plenty of top songwriters don’t or can’t read music. The Beatles never learnt to read music. It can be useful, but you don’t need it. I’ve never learnt it.

What do you need then?

To start with you need two or three chords. That’s all to begin with. Two or three chords. How about G, C, and D? Or E, A and D? Or maybe just two of them.

Pick the two that are easiest for you to play and change between, whether it be on your guitar or keyboard. Practice changing between them. It might sound boring but it’s a start…

The start of your song.

PART TWO will explain what to do next.

© 2019 Simon Poore