Song a Month - New Challenges

February 29, 2016

I’ve been recording and uploading a “song a month” for the past 7 months. It’s been a great experience, terrific motivator and helped me get better at a number of things by giving me a vehicle with which to practice them.

But in that time I feel like I have let myself get away with a number of things and I want to challenge myself on those things going forward.


I don’t spend enough time on lyrics. I don’t put enough thought into them. I don’t review them or try to come up with anything too interesting. They are generally an afterthought and something I do in the last few days out of desperation.

The Challenge

Spend more time on lyrics. Go through a process for writing lyrics. Check spelling. Check grammar. Check tense. Check the things I don’t even know the definitions for (mixing first person and third person?). Go through several versions of lyrics before I get to the final version.

Instrumental Tracks

I’ve done a few instrumental tracks, which is fine, but often those tracks are repetitive and use too much copy/paste of parts. It also means I don’t have to write lyrics. Admittedly sometimes I did this because I had a cold and couldn’t sing well enough for another song, but I’ve never been sick for a whole month, so…

The Challenge

No more instrumentals. All songs must include me singing.

Guitar Recording

For all of these songs I’ve just plugged my guitar directly into my audio interface and used the built-in guitar effects of Logic Pro X or Guitar Rig 5. But I recently got myself an amp, have a slew of pedals and I’d like to start using them for my guitar parts.

The Challenge

Each song must include at least one guitar track recorded with a mic in front of an amp.

Mixing and Mastering

I have very little experience with mixing songs and next to no experience mastering songs. I use a very primitive method for mixing my songs and up until recently haven’t done any kind of mastering.

The Challenge

Spend time learning how to mix and master songs. Leave myself time for mixing and make it a separate, defined piece of my process. Start using mastering tools to improve how the songs sound overall.