What Are Your Musical Plans for 2021


#1

I saw a similar thread on a few other of our sister forums and thought why shouldn’t we have one of our own? So what your plans for you own music output in the coming year?

For myself, I 100% quit listening to music for the most part after our first stay at home order. This was partially habit as I did most of my music listening on my various commutes. I also basically didn’t make music or practice DJing at all since my little festival got canceled. That was kind of the death knell for my creative output.

For a long time I’ve wanted to do a live dance music from a few well chosen pieces of gear and maybe a CDJ or two in the mix. So, with some financial windfalls I was very grateful for I’ve been able to come up with what I hope will finally be an ideal setup for what I want to achieve. The shortest summary I can give is that after “Disco Sucks” in Chicago basically destroyed dance music for a minute, the DJs that would invent Chicago house started using drum machines, DJ mixers, and records with drum tracks, vocal tracks etc to make new music because literally no one was making disco or dance music anymore much. I wanted to recreate that and see what I could come up with.


#2

Make less shitty music and take my time by Spending a month or two on a track instead of banging them out in a day or two.

Those all day sessions have made me burnout musically.

Either that or take an indefinite break from music.


#3

Finish writing & release album #2.

I decided to bypass the 4-track EP idea I wanted to make in 2020 and do a full new album in 2021 instead. It’s progressing nicely. Going to be darker and more intense than the 1st one, while retaining elements of light throughout. Each song is its own story, its own inward metaphor.

There are a couple specific labels that I would really like to have my music on. Will try to make that happen, we’ll see.


#5

This last year my focus has been on learning and also practicing productivity by finishing songs without being to perfectionist about it, I feel like this really helped with getting writing to flow better.

So with this new found productivity and with everything I’ve learned, I’m going to try and release some stuff this year that I’d be happy to share as finished.


#6

work on writing basslines

release music

probably buy more gear I don’t really need


#7

I just got an EP out as a goal for last year, and I’m really happy with the performance that has had, but 90% of the listens are to track one, and 95% are tracks one and two. So I really get the idea of singles now, and I had what would have been another EP. Now it looks like I have all my releases for the year lined up.

So what I’m focusing on now, since I have all this runway, is the marketing and such. Found a great youtube channel (Andrew Southworth) that covers using Facebook to run ads for your music and get decent results. He doesn’t promise overnight fame with his methods, just reasonable results and actionable data. So I’ve been working on getting that up and running. And once I have it working for me, it might be transferrable to the Forum’s releases as well.

Right now, I think I have most of the mechanics/pixel tracking/programming down, just need to work on media to actually have an ad to run. So I had to download a video editor again and I need to get good at GIMP.

I’m also hanging around on Discord with some of the curators of the house channels I like on youtube, so hopefully I can get one of those singles onto one of the channels I like sometime this year.


#8

Yea, I used to looooove those hardcore sessions. I’ve found though that I get much better output if I work on things over a period of weeks or months.


#9

You should submit what you come up with to those labels. At worst they’ll say no/you won’t hear from them. And defo go for the full LP. And an LP doesn’t have to be like 15 songs and over an hour long : )


#10

Make more livesets


#11

I haven’t got plans for music for 2021 . Just making music like always maybe .


#12

If you can figure out how to beat Facebook that is the ultimate win.


#13

Oh yeah, don’t worry, I will. I know exactly which ones and my goal is to have my music be on a level that would fit within said labels. Regarding LP length, always shooting for a minimum of 8 songs and max of 10. I can easily reach 60 minutes within those parameters - I usually tend to write songs that are at least 5-ish minutes long.

On the other hand, on the listener side, “ain’t nobody got time for that” etc., unfortunately. I don’t think people really expect (or are interested in fully listening to) albums that are more than 45 minutes long.


#14

Right I remember seeing your thread about that and wanted to reply but forgot.

There’s nothing magical or complicated about writing basslines. “Good” is open to interpretation, after that.

I’m sure you’ve heard about the basics: sit well with the kick (although, depending on the music you play, it doesn’t necessarily matter all that much) and there to introduce a groove and foundation to the song.

One (more traditional/rock music stuff) approach is to start with following what main chords your riff/melody has, follow it/strip it down for the bass (not going to go into music theory, you’ll find that everywhere on the web) and add some notes here and there to create a groove. For example, every single disco bass line ever is built around alternatively playing the main note and the +1 octave. It’s that simple.

Edited to add: scales are your friend - learn the main ones if you don’t know them already :slight_smile:


#15

Yeah, I think my biggest problem is I try to write the entire line from scratch when I should really just build it a layer at a time like a drum track


#16

Exactly - maybe don’t put too much emphasis (in your mind) on them. It can be “just another part” except it is an important one. Funny thing in my case, I tend to write basslines after everything else (at least for electronic music). It would be entirely different if I made music with drums + guitar(s) + bass though.


#17

Ok, so I just wrote up and trashed instead of submitted a longer message. tl;dr version is yea…attention spans, I was thinking more how physical media and now streaming has affected album lengths but attention spans are more relevant for sure.

If you figure out how to get a stranger to listen to your full 45 minute album let us know!


#18

As well you should, I think you are going down interesting territory there.


#19

Nothing. that’s what i’ve got planned.


#20

That’s the Holy Grail, isn’t it?

Here’s the thing - as you know, musicians or people with a real interest in music will appreciate the work and listen to a full album. The masses won’t, unless they were told they should.

It’s always been like this. That’s why this kind of crap compilation sold millions, before and during the internet, got to number 75 apparently and still exists somehow:

The masses who have no clue about what it takes musicians* to make music don’t assign any value to it. They just want something utterly disposable they can dance to or use as background for whatever other activity.

*side note: real musicians - I’m not talking about “producers”, which is fast becoming one on my most hated words, aka people who do what I call Lego music, putting loops/samples from someone else together and calling that their music

So the hard part is to go after the people who care and create some kind of fan base, which is way more difficult when you’re not touring, as it needs relentless efforts and people are more likely to buy your stuff if they’ve actually interacted with you in some ways.

I think it may be @canecreek who mentioned 90-95% of listens on his EP were songs #1 and #2. I’ve seen that on my album too. That’s why I change the “featured” Bandcamp song from time to time. In any case, unless you instantly grab someone’s attention (the hardest thing, obviously), 90%+ of the people who don’t know you or have not interacted with you in some ways will just quickly skim through songs, think “I’ll listen to that later” when they like it and proceed to firget about it within 30 minutes as they’re on to the next artist/album/song/whatever.

Anyhoo, you get the idea and I’m pretty sure you know all that.

I often say, about many topics: “choose your battles”.

There are some that can’t be won and “getting many strangers to listen to a full album” is one of them, unless you are able to pull a LOT of relentless marketing work, tour semi-constantly, be ready to live precariously and killing any chance at a career that can give you a decent living. Because being a “waiter/musician/actor” in your 20’s is fine but in your 40’s? That’s rather pathetic, frankly - I’ve seen too many and the bitterness is incredible. Finally, your music has to be somewhat in the ballpark of what’s popular at the time. Making instrumental music that’s not basic club music is another way to make sure you can forget widespread success, BTW :laughing:

Long post was long. It’s Saturday morning, woo-hoo! Hope you all have a nice day :slight_smile:


#21

It was White_Noise’s album.