Do you have specific 50/90 plans and goals?

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I think before the site refreshed, there was a thread along the lines of "planning versus pantsing" (flying by the seat of your pants). How do you fall on that spectrum?
Right now, I have some plans - banjo instrumentals, acoustic guitar/vocal skirmishes (enough to make a Bandcamp album), and setting my wife's poetry to music (again, maybe for an album).
I used to be a pretty decent banjo picker, and I'd like to get back to that. The other day at breakfast, I began a list of instrumental titles and themes.
But since the goal is 50 (which I've gotten every year but one since 2009) and it's a long haul, I'm sure I'll do some other things, too, as usual. (As I'm writing this, I can look across the room and see a harmonium I'd like to get re-acquainted with.)
How about you?

Yup. Set goals this year. I have to do 6 more songs to complete my Australiana album, 5 more to do a uke album. I am going to try and do some really different stuff, lots of genres and different instruments. Accordion and sax i have not played for years are eying me off! Going to try do 1 song per day. Hope for some more collabs this time.

I plan. Definitely. Creativity needs constraints, deadlines, rules, and regulations. I'll do 50 songs this year and try to keep a steady pace ( not necessarily a song every other day, but rather on a weekly basis or so. ) I won't do more than 50 songs because 50 is enough. More than that and they don't even fit on one song page.

I've never actually tried this before. This is my 7th year so I think it's time to stop polishing the demos and get back to basics. I'm not going to spend 5-10 hours on demos and extra time for "mastering" and tweaking limiter settings during 50/90 like I used to. All that time is better spent on commenting and listening. It's not just my personal challenge. Building the community is important too. People matter.

The Plan is really simple. I'll just do collabs with lyricists. Make very simple demos. Spend three hours max from reading the lyrics to demo. If the verses don't match, I'll just cram the extra syllables in if I have to ( with the kind permission of the lyricist of course! ). I'll try to avoid burning out too soon by shamelessly lowering my usual standards and letting my hidden sentimental cheesy side take over. You don't know how cheesy my cheese can be. You have been warned. Smile

Well, I was figuring on complete pantsing. However, inspired by reading a Stephen Sondheim book, I am planning to try my hand at writing a connected set of songs that tell a story with multiple characters/voices. I already had intended to use all of my instruments. So now I technically am a hybrid of planning and pantsing or "plantsing".

Yes, I have a very specific plan for how I am going to fly by the seat of my pants. Guess my age is showing. "Pantsing" used to mean something entirely different. Wink

My plan is skirmish based for now. The idea is to use the prompt as a musical stimulus rather than a lyrical one. For example extracting a rhythm from the prompt or a brief development of it and using that as the rhythmic motif for a piece. Or maybe the sound of the prompt suggests a melody. I don't intend for the music to be programmatic. I aim to work in the electronic genres as much as my limited vocabulary allows. Given the time constraints, the results will be short and not fully developed or embellished.

That's my basic plan. Of course all plans go out the window once the first shot is fired so we'll hear, what really happens in about a week..

Geez...some really good strategies and goals listed here so far; I like all I've read. I don't have a bunch of instruments other than my DAW and my yamaha...but I DID buy a uke earlier this year for the first time! I only learned 4 chords, and now I've forgotten them lol But I hope to get up the nerve to incorporate it into at least a couple songs. I'll have to learn how to mic it up to record it...
I never sit down with a plan when it comes to music, though...served me well so far.
And @coolparadiso - collab, indeed! We still gotta hook up and make some electrofolk! lol
Good to see all these familiar names!

hmm... I usually combine the two P's here... though my plan is more about the collaborator...and sometimes my other writing situations. I try to find new people to work with that want to kind of do what I do. Of sorts. You can see why I mix it up

i have a plan.
i have a couple.
i plan to use recording this year for getting my studio together. i have just about stocked it. right now the computer is in the shop, about to go from windows 7 home edition to professional so my RAM isn't limited. i can at least double my RAM to 32 just by buying 4 4GB RAM cards at first with windows 7 professional.after the summer, before FAWM, i want to work out the memory risers-- then i can go to 128. they are looking into adding the other processor my ancient workstation can have. i'm just trying to bulk the computer up because i am going to be recording 8 audio tracks at once on the drums, and i want it to be easy for the computer to handle that much information that quickly.
but it isn't a good omen that i want to tweak my studio by recording this summer and the computer is in the shop at the end of june. ha. the only thing i really don't have is a full 88 key keyboard to input MIDI. but i have a 25, so....
then, plan 2 is to write a show, a musical of sorts, with a-- gasp!!-- political theme.
the name of it is "cult 45."
and there we go.
so, i am on the same trip as you, @AndyGetch happy trails! and trials.

recently purchased a 12-string electric and looking forward to how this changes how I write songs. I expect more open chords.

Yup mate. Raring to go! My brain is exploding with ideas! Did you know i teach ukulele? @splittybooms .

My feeble two (2) plans are to get the Flying Tadpole Travelling Blues Band out of my hair before July 4th (that's a Kickstarter and all the associated publishing, my God, Kunaki, CDBaby, SMP, check, recheck, doublecheck, mailing lists, linkages, it takes forever and there's a public launch yet to do in August), and to get more than a dog-frightening squeak out of my new fauxaphoon. The Blues Band stuff is nearly done. The fauxaphoon is leaving me breathless. It's gonna be pantsing for me, I can see...

Decided to try recording keys and vocals at the same time this year. Been working on my vocals a lot lately, but still need to learn playing 2 things at once.

Not sure I'll make 50 songs, but I don't care. Doing this for other reasons. Smile

When it comes to music, or art, in general, I don't plan, which is the plan. I then find where I was and see it afterward.

However, I had after FAWM specifically focused on "new directions", experimental, (the old get out of the box theme?)... and etc.

It's how this came to be:
- the "Notre Dame Still Stands" theme; purely ad hoc and not what I'd "normally" do with this coming from collaboration with Bill White (who loves to experiment-experiment and stuck with it... sooooo many try it again to make a bad track sound "good"... how many have done that?):
- it's "different", to be sure, if can make it to the end where the song deconstructs entirely

Also, it lead to the current track, experiment engaging "She'll Be Comin' Round the Mountain", as a traditional re-write.

I got that from a simple comment-feedback to someone suggesting a bundle of songs somehow connected to Trains, -- and got to work that Lunch Time myself on my "e.g.", - that now known as "Children's Song", Traditional American Folk Song.

I looked and found that no one had done a "re-write". First pass, sucked big time... but was suggested to not delete it since had a "something" so, got it to here (I think a more "flawless" execution will make the difference in it as happens in many songs, to Zig here and not Zag there, up-pitch/down-pitch/other and etc., it'll be my first track for 5090-2019:
- it's an unusual take on it, in part because we all know how it's "supposed" to sound, and etc.; and, this is a one-take recording while writing and then overdubbed to make a less then perfect track (for feel?), get the original idea across.

So, more deliberate, "artistic"?, experimentation, "weirder"? non-status quo tracks... more Traditionals completely given new skins, by my ear... I also had many *morning-mourning-news writes Smile -- so, have lots to address, if can find the time this otherwise busy summer, for me, busy-busy. Sometimes I get more done when have to much to do and ironically may be more active in September rather than July-Aug as when it then falls off, some say. (I never thought so, I always thought, -- that's when the "real" 5090ers come out of the White-noise of attenders and SockPuppets Smile hahhh... Smile )

I think I've mentioned on my profile that I'm planning to continue to chip away at the Periodic Table series of songs. Those are, honestly, a bit of work (because I like to have my facts straight!) so I'll aim to do about 20-25 of those over the summer.

I always love to play songwriting games and see what I come up with from those, so that will be a part of my 50/90 as well.

I also have wanted to collab with @Klaus for a long time so I'm hoping to do that this time around!

I also have some outstanding collabs and redos from previous FAWMs and 50/90s that MUST get finished, so they're on my to-do stack for this time around.

@metalfoot - Looking forward to more element songs! Yours were some of my favorite songs of FAWM - so catchy!
@cblack - You've just given me something else to do! I used to always do keys and vocal separately, and the last couple years I've moved more toward both at the same time, even though the demo quality suffers a bit for me. Makes me feel like Elton John, who inspired me to take up piano as a kid, or the recently-departed Dr. John - although I'm nowhere near as good as either.
@splittybooms - My daughter has recently expressed some interest in ukulele, so I'll get out mine to teach her and a few songs will come from it. But I mainly play it tuned like a guitar so I'll have to remember what to do in standard uke tuning.
@Klaus - I have often wanted to put up some lyrics-only songs to see what others do with them. The thing is, I would probably write my own music as I did the words because that's how I think. But I'd only post the words - it would be interesting to see how much another version differed from mine.
So now I have three more things to do beyond the original plan I wrote about above!

For once, I'm here without hope or agenda. Any song will be a win.

@chipwithrow. I swap between guitar and Uke tuning all the time you will work it out real quick. As a start C Am F G. Uke C is guitar G Uke Am is Guitar Em, Uke F is guitar C Uke G is guitar D.

Every year I have the same plan: reduce the backlog of song ideas that I've accumulated. Every year I get the same result: I increase the backlog.

There's nothing wrong with this. It's a natural consequence of moving into a creative environment for a month or three, thinking about songs and listening to as much as possible of what's being produced here.

That being said, I do have portions of two song cycles that I've been poking at for years and would like to finish up someday. Smile

Make a nursery rhyme in spanish that is not boring

After wholly failing to do FAWM at all this year due to a crunch at work, I'm really looking forward to getting back "on the horse" this summer with a productive 50/90. I currently don't have more definite plans than that. I do have a number of general concepts and ideas and styles and "wishes" floating around in my mind, and I may well pursue some of those concepts to a grater or lesser significant extent. But my overriding plan and goal is just to get out there and create.

cts's picture

I have a few ideas but mainly I'm going to use this 50/90 to get as many collabs from folks I've been wanting to work with for some time as well folks I've partnered up with previously. And I'm gonna work on some ideas before heading up to FAWMstock at the end of the month.

I've got some goals. One of them is to really make an effort NOT to reach 50. I know I can do 50 and I get some great ideas I wouldn't have otherwise when I do, but at the cost of ignoring other things. I want to get some serious recording work done. I want to build on my performance repertoire and one of the songs I want to add is "A Cover is Not the Book" from Mary Poppins returns, which could take all summer in itself. I want to actually learn how to play this guitar that I have and overcome my embouchure issues with single reed instruments. And I'd love to get better at applying my composing and songwriting to my teaching job. Also, after three years of trying, I want to finish the damn King Lear song. Stupid thing is going to drive me Lear level of crazy. A lot of my summer goals overlap with writing, I just don't know how that is going too manifest. I love when I don't know how a story is going to end!

I want to make another double album, which is what I did in 2017. I didn't intend to make that one a double so I might just make a bunch of songs and see what works. I think I should just go for it and not worry about the big picture as much.

I want to do some different things. I have a definied style but my best songs are when I try new things that are exciting to make. I have vague ideas but I'd rather try them than talk or think too much about them so we'll see.

Not focused on making it to 50 but if I do, I do.

hmm, not sure, beyond what i already wrote about in the 'opening number' thread.
probably won't be doing a huge amount of songs this year (ie not probably making it to 50) but .. we'll see. Depends in part on how much of a 'demand' there is, perhaps (ie interest/comments, etc). Not that i don't have some self-motivation, but after having done this for a long time, with a lot of songs now, I guess I'm not as internally motivated as I was, unless there's some external interest out there.... kind of, the plan? well, i guess one motivation/plan is to get some practice on some instruments, and get back some of what i have probably lost in instrumental finesse/chops, maybe try to get a little bit better? wonder (thinking out loud here) if that means more instrumentals, more solos, ?

....To survive.

And hopefully collaborate with other musicians.
Really like to create that killer song that blows anything else out the window. Smile

Ah, yes, this thread got me thinking an actually spawned this idea I now share. Well, aside from the above initial comment (and remains in tact), and since I may get pulled away entirely half way through this, I got inspired by, as well, what Bill White does... organizes stuff in a more relevant way. So, with all this stuff going on and folks so boldly sharing their heart felt thoughts I think I need to more relevantly Smile organize a few of my "stuffs" in a more relevant way.

So, as that goes, it could included a quick re-mix, maybe not, but like culling the 2018-5090's 25 SONGS, o m g, (well, for me it's an "OMG" Smile )

It seems they are, after listening now for a while, a list of "protest" songs, but as an American, not an enemy in American of America. It could be why it's only about "half popular" Smile re-bundled to this more descriptive Title here (cool Album Art, aye?!? Smile )




I've dug into some genealogy recently, and come up with some interesting stories / guesses / connections. I'm thinking to write a "Familiy Albumn" to tell them in song.

Stare down my year's worth of procrastination and get to 50.

The only plans I make for any of the various internet songwriting challenges are always based on what gear I want to use. For FAWM last February I restricted myself to one guitar, one amp, and three pedals. For 50/90 I am doing the same sort of thing, only with a few more pedals and a two amp stereo rig. I'm also thinking of working in more acoustic guitar this time, but I say that every year and always end up staying electric.

I intent to take my sweet time this time, I did my first FAWM this year and we got a dog at the same time. It was too much, man! I didn't even touch an instrument in three months after that. Now I'm trying to get back into the groove. If I release even one song, it'll be good for me.

Mostly pantsing I guess? My plan is to keep my output as steady as possible, five songs every nine days. I've been working with a couple of lyricists outside 5090, they send me lyrics and I set them to music, so those will help me get the total up. Spend every spare minute thinking about songs. It's what I usually do and it works pretty well. I gig a lot, which means I don't have a lot of spare time; but I drive to gigs a lot, and I usually spend the drive going over whatever lyric and/or melody I'm working on. Or coming up with brand new ones.

In FAWM this year I wrote ten songs and I was happy with the quality of pretty much all of them, no throwaways really. But that actually makes things harder - if I start thinking about whether the song is any good before I've finished it, there's a good chance I'll decide it isn't and give up halfway through. The whole point of these marathons for me is to get out of that habit and just keep everything. Some of my favourites of my songs are the ones that I didn't think were great until I finished them and could look at the whole.

I'd like to get my ukulele more involved, as well. I'm in a songwriting collective based in Århus (long story) and each year they lend out a nice ukulele to a member, on the condition that you must write at least one song on it. This year I was lucky enough to win it, and I've written only one so far. I'd like to have a few to choose from when I go back to Denmark in January and they ask me to perform the song I wrote on it.

So I have a very vague plan, which basically revolves around the central idea: "write songs".

In one phrase: my goal is create /collaborate on something I'll/we'll be happy with for years to come.

Weeellllllll. I've got a bit of a bone to pick. I'm not going to do it by starting an argument. I'm not going to air any dirty laundry on social media. And, unlike some people, I'm not going to file foolish and vexatious lawsuits I have zero chance of actually winning. I'm just going to do it by continuing to make music and play gigs. Because, just by doing that, I'm inviting comparisons and publicly demonstrating that I'm not the one who had the problem. Then we'll all see how this pans out. But I can already guess how the future's going to be. I've been around a long time, and I've seen it all before.

Well this is a great thread. I'm getting a lot of inspiration from it. I was thinking I'm so backlogged with new material and so much unfinished material from 1 to 6 years back I t I'm going to take the opportunity to revisit some really good stuff and see if I can do rewrites and keep honing those pieces in the simplest possible manner. No complex arrangements. I want to look at those pieces and Nod my head and know that they are done and ready for whatever comes next. I'm also open to writing more music but I don't want to write songs for the sake of gathering numbers. I would also like to collaborate and see how my repetitive habits can combine with someone else's repetitive habits haha!!

Most of my musical goals revolve around creating licensable instrumentals for the library I'm signed to. There will also be some experimental stuff and modular messings. Since I'm really busy I plan on doing batch uploads and posting abou once a week. First one will probably be tomorrow because I'm exhausted right now.

I need to kickstart myself back into creativity and writing again. I haven't done anything since FAWM, and even then I did very little as I was away from home.
It's been a year since I was writing regular. I miss it and need to get back into it.
So 50/90 will hopefully be my means of achieving that Smile