I’m in the middle of making an album and this is what it looks like right now. A 3 ring binder of notes, song titles, keys and sheet music. I hope you are as excited about it as I am. Actually this album has taken me SO long. It is the longest music project I have worked on. I did things a little out of order this time. Over a year ago, (April, 2012) I took pictures for the album cover, which seems a little backwards because usually it is the last thing I do before handing it over to a graphic designer and the duplication company. (You can do these things yourself and save money if you have the time and resources.) I set up a photo shoot for promos and rather than do hair and make up and wardrobe another day I took the pictures for the album at the same time. (It saved me some cash too.) Then the CD project got put on hold.
Don’t get me wrong I was still working, but not on the album… (you know how life goes) I started to get some songs put onto a list. If you are thinking about creating an album of your own, here is a basic checklist to get you started when putting together an album. I will add to it later on in another post. Ready?
1. Start saving your money.
2. Start collecting ideas and put them together in a binder.
3. Scan the internet, old music books, the library, your file cabinet, to gather songs, make notes, lyrics, lists etc until the binder gets full.
4. After compiling a list of at least 20 songs cut the list of songs in half.
5. Go over basic themes, and begin trying songs out in several different styles until one style really feels right.
6. Did I mention SAVE YOUR MONEY?
7. Mark the keepers on the list and make a simple handheld recording of the each song.
8. Look for a trusted studio. Ask friends who have recorded and listen to sample recordings from the engineer at the studios. This is a very important step.
9. Seriously make sure you have some money saved.
10. Schedule musicians with a studio date.
11. Book the recording studio.
Actually recording is my favorite part! If you’re interested in some tips for recording in a studio click here. I love the creative time when making an album. There are some really magical moments in the studio and it’s incredible when all the musicians get into a rhythm, and song after song gets laid down. (I sing with the instrumentalists in a separate room and I make what is called a scratch track.) It’s actually quite cool and exhausting at the same time. It is very intense. I am always nervous with an excited energy that makes me all giddy inside. I wish I could describe it. I think I’m more serious at the studio about doing my best than I am when I’m stepping onto a stage in front of 10,000 people. I want to sound good no matter what of course… I mean this recording is forever you know? Talk about pressure.
I want my music to be memorable and inspirational. When my music helps someone along in their life I feel good about what I’m doing. I love hearing from you about how my music has touched your life in a positive way. That is when I know I’ve done something musically right. It’s a great feeling to know I’ve accomplished one of my goals and encouraged another person.
After I record with the instrumentalists, I take the tracks home and sing with them for a few weeks. I go back to the studio later to sing by myself so I can redo any part I wish without having to pay for the instruments to be there too. The reason I wait a while? I want to get to know these new songs that were created and become very familiar with how the accompaniment sounds. I create my own part. I want to be comfortable and able to sing with ease. After about 2 weeks, I book the studio for myself and sing with the tracks.
So now you know what I’m up to. I’m coming out with a new album this August. I’ve booked the studio for this Friday. I’ll be talking more about the different steps that happen during this process so stay tuned. I’m looking forward to sharing all of it with you. I might even do a few video clips for you to watch. Hopefully this will inspire you if you are just beginning your careers in music. I’m happy to help you if you have any questions. I’d love to answer them for you. I’d also love your suggestions too. Tell me what you do when you prepare to make an album?