Are you doing the RPM Challenge this year? Well, I’ve done it twice successfully, and once unsuccessfully, so I have a few tips for you…
Really. It should be fun. It will still be some work, but in the end, you’ll hopefully have enjoyed the time you spent doing it. I know that when you’re still mixing at 2am on the 28th you’ll question why you thought it would be fun, but really… try to have fun. That should be the #1 rule.
Don’t get stressed out.
Remember, it’s a “challenge” not a competition. It’s about you, and what you can do, so don’t worry about others, and how far along they are, or how much better their stuff sounds. You should be doing it to challenge your own creativity. If you’re getting stressed out, you’re probably not having fun. (See #1)
Don’t get bogged down.
If you get stuck, move on. You’ve got either 30 minutes of music, or 10 songs to make, so getting stuck trying to get “just the right sound” or the “perfect drum loop” is going to kill your productivity. Either finish what you are working on, or abandon it, move on, and if there’s time later, come back to it.
Don’t expect perfection.
You’re recording an album in 28 days. That’s a little insane. Especially if you work full time, have a family, or do anything else with your life. Don’t be too hard on yourself. It won’t be perfect. Deal with it. You’ll hear things when you’re done and think “If only I had…” but hey, you only had 28 days! Perfection takes time, and time, and more time. I’m still trying to find it, and I’m old.
Wait, didn’t I say that already? Yes… don’t forget it. Unless you’re some sort of masochist (and some would argue anyone trying to record an album in 28 days is a masochist) you should enjoy the experience. I just listened to my previous RPM Challenge albums last night, and while they are far from perfect, I completed the challenge, and I had fun doing it.
If you’d like to read my previous blog posts on the RPM Challenge, please do… I hope these tips help you to complete the challenge!