One song a day

Following the steps of some other musicians who have done the same this year, I will make one finished song/track/piece of music every day in 2021. (I’ll make some bonus ones before 2021, but without numbering them)

The goal is not to make 365 masterpieces, but as making music is a craft, finishing stuff makes you better at it, even if the stuff is not the greatest; almost like a muscle that gets its fibres damaged during weight lifting and heals back stronger.

I’ll post each one here :slight_smile:

One big thing I want to achieve is to experiment with as many kinds of electronic music as I can. Even more importantly, I want to really get comfortable with pushing reaper’s huge shortcut/customizability for productivity to its limits, and experiment with tons of different synths, sounds and effects I already have. This “just happens” as I make music to a degree, eg. I’ve recently discovered solid bus comp from NI and now it’s my go to compressor for most things, but there are huge arrays of stuff I listen to that I like that I haven’t tried making yet, so it’s also going to be a conscious effort.

A pro mangaka said “do you want to get better at drawing something? Take 500 sheets of printer paper and draw it over and over. After 500 sheets you will be better.” I hope (and strongly suspect) it translates to music. How many compositions (that we have a record of) did Bach write? :slight_smile:


That’s so awesome!! I think near the beginning of his career Jonathan Coulton did something similar with his “Thing a Week” project.

Looking forward to your updates! :smile:


This is an excellent idea! James Clear wrote in Atomic Habits about the importance of repetition and why this approach works. Looking forward to updates as well!


As rusty as I knew I was, this was surprisingly bad. Maybe I should have just started from scratch when I realized it sucked… lesson learned, maybe. :slight_smile:

2020 bonus 1 - it sucks

I have that book! I liked it, I’ll probably give it another read too.


No, that’s what tomorrow is for!


Great start, @eugeniobruno! Keep 'em coming! :smile:


The astute reader might notice that I haven’t made a song today, and it’s 2021. Well spotted. But this is not a beeminder goal, and I’ll push out the backlog… trying to keep it small. :slight_smile:

I already have a draft of an idea, at least.

The volume of output is the most important thing, but still, it’s best if I can just do one each day instead of a bunch at a time from a backlog.

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:scream: :wink:

You still have 8.5 hours left, at least in the One True Time Zone!

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Ok, ok, akrasia, you win. Setting up a goal with 1.1 per day. Turning the snippets I’ve made into full tracks is the whole point, dang it.

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How do you know how much 0.1 song is?

This sounds interesting - what does the last part mean?

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There is no (reasonable) way to “make a tenth of a song”, so eventually I’ll have to make two songs in a day! :slight_smile:

That’s intended, though. I end the year with more songs than days, and I gradually start making up for the first days I haven’t yet done.

This is what a project idea might look like. I have set it up so all the parts first sound one at a time, then all at once, just so you can hear all the pieces.

Conceivably the way they sound all at once could be what the hook/“drop” sounds like, with some sound design work to make the individual sounds sound better and with mixing that makes them work better together, but as is, it’s just a bunch of quick synth patches with a simple melody and some random drum samples. After you have an idea you expand it, arrange it in a song structure, you add instruments, you mix it… and it becomes a finished thing!

@dreev sorry for the ping, but could we get allowed mp3 embeds in here? :slight_smile: for work-in-progress or just samples/examples like these where you don’t actually have a full track you want to post they’d be great. Right now mp3 is not an allowed file type. Maybe make it allowed only for a custom role, “GreatestMusiciansOfAllTimes” or something. :stuck_out_tongue:


Eventually? Wouldn’t you need to right away?

I meant more about the “akrasia, you win … it’s the whole point, dang it” part!

The first day is a special case of eventually.
… ok, to be honest when I decided to make the rate 1.1 it was way too late for my brain to properly work and realize it would be 2 the first day already, but that’s fine and in general the idea of having to do two once in a while is intented.

Let me deconstruct my poorly written sentence :slight_smile:

“Ok, ok, akrasia, you win. Setting up a goal with 1.1 per day” → My akrasia is preventing me from doing this thing I said I would do, so I’m setting up a goal.

“Turning the snippets I’ve made into full tracks is the whole point, dang it.” I already have a couple of small snippets I’ve made in these days, but they’re not full tracks. You get a dopamine hit even if you have only made a 8 bar loop that you can’t release in any way but just play to yourself in your audio software. The point of forcing yourself to make one song a day is to actually do all the steps that it takes to make something finished, and improving holistically at music.

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So without Beeminder you were just doing snippets but not refining them into songs?

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That, plus not making enough snippets too, or maybe making just pieces of covers, or snippets never intended to become a full track at all.

Here’s a recent example snippet that’s just kind of a crappy cover of the veldt by deadmau5

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derailed yesterday, ratcheted today, starting with “2021_1 - hardly a start”, you know, because the “song” sucks! :slight_smile:

but it’s good to start, and I’ll have to do another one today (which I think will be something with orchestral libraries and quirky time signatures instead of EDM)


Enjoy (if you can) “2021_02 halfbutt”, which is what happens when equipment malfunction and lack of harmony and composition knowledge conspire together :slight_smile:

I should probably add a harmony book to the reading list…

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for “2021_03 normality” the main theme is “slightly better than yesterday maybe?”. :slight_smile: still definitely not “good enough”, but I guess we’ll get there…

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2021_04 shreddin the binary is a cover from the artist that inspired this idea of making one track a day! Technically an earlier work in progress that I never properly finished.


today i’m gonna put it on
tonight i’m gonna twist and shout
the fabric beats against the wind
and cuts the definition of my skin
you know i’m gonna put it on

i’m sure i should be embarrassed but i’m not
i’m sure i should feel stupid but i’m hot
gonna grab my brush and paint the town
i’ve got the binary shredded down

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