Do Something Challenge Discussion Thread


Staff member
Another forum I'm on has a Song Of The Week challenge/contest and it works as a great way to motivate people to get something done on a regular basis. It's not just a song, it can be a riff, a lead over a backing track, a quick idea on a synth and well-organized and pitched farts, as long as you constructed and posted it that week, it counts. No reaching back in your archives for that "oh my drummer didn't want to work on this one but I recorded this 18 years ago on a Fostex 4-track, I just held my phone up to an old sh*tty cassette deck and captured the audio", it has to be new. (Honor system)

The winner each week wins the pride of accomplishing something with music that week. Every submission is 1 point and whoever has the most points after week 4 is the weiner. You can contribute more than one thing in a week and it'll count. I think we did 1 point for a whole song and .5 points for a lead over a backing track, but we can iron out those details.

Playing/recording abilities don't mean a damn thing. You can start playing because of the challenge and you're just as worthy of a 'competitor'.

There's a couple guys here who took part of this at the forum, @Iron1 and I think @Desertdweller maybe? @Iron1 might be a reigning champion. When there's a lot of people doing it, it's a lot of fun because there's a healthy competition when you don't want to be the guy who DOESN'T contribute that week. It also creates a place where you can bounce ideas off people and get feedback without feeling like a turd for asking for it. It can be daunting writing an entire song in one week and I had to take a break to focus on music that I wasn't trying write and finish in 7-days and then I just fell off entirely last year.

We had two different ones going for a while; Lead Of The Week, which someone would contribute a backing track and everyone would take turns soloing over it, then Song Of The Week which is what I described above. I'd probably call it something entirely different, Noodle Of The Week or something.

If anyone would be interested in this, post yours thoughts and maybe we can make something happen!

Will Ferrell Snl GIF by Saturday Night Live
Yes. But I can't solo for shit and feel like I would be bad at follow through. Be cool to try though!
Yes. But I can't solo for s**t and feel like I would be bad at follow through. Be cool to try though!
I used to feel that way, but after trying a couple tricks, my stuff started sounding pretty cool.

Paul Gilbert has said to just tap out a beat with your hands..., anything- daaa, dada, dumm dumm dadadada dum dadum, etc. The other part (which I picked up from watching Ben Eller explain the solo to Dream Theater's Peruvian Skies) is to just outline the chords. Get creative by playing the notes in various registers/inversions. Match the notes to the beats, throw in some bends & vibrato, don't forget about space, and you've got a solo. Ez peezy. Lol
I'd prefer a learn x riff or solo part rather than to have to be creative on a weekly basis, lol.
This could be a fun thing to do, and if some folks would like to learn how to record, or how to use a DAW, I guess some here could help out, maybe share a project file or something
The solo thing I have nothing to share .. but a riff or a song I could do

Don`t see why we need points? But if that is what makes folks share stuff, why not

Good good
Weekly is too much for my schedule. I typically already have other projects on going and wouldn't want to interrupt them for a weekly diversion. Song Of The Month is better. I often participated in one of these years ago when I playing saxophone.
As Drew mentioned, I've definitely spent a lot of time doing this. We started it a few years back (2017? 18?) and the guy who originated it has kept it going all this time. Can't overstate how much fun I've had doing it.

Things I'd say to those who are new to this:

* When we started, my recording skills were absolute, total trash. And, my songwriting wasn't much better. But, every week in it was practice, learning something new, finding better ways to make it happen. Now, I get complimented regularly on my results. It's absolutely made me a better player, songwriter, sound engineer and overall musician. Quite possible more so than my years of touring and recording in my younger days (likely since I don't spend most of the time doing this swirling around the bottom of a vodka bottle like I did back then... lol)

* Everyone who participates brings something different/new/valuable to the table that we all learn from. The more folks who contribute, the better it is for everyone involved. I can't overstate this part.

* The competition piece of it brings some semblance of "skin in the game" that motivates most people to get something done. However, it's not like fantasy sports or something where you really lose anything if life gets in the way one week.

* For those who aren't in a band, it makes a great surrogate for band practice. Sitting around chugging or running scales or learning covers/leads by yourself is good practice, but it doesn't replace jamming with others in a band. This doesn't either, but it's a nice alternative if you aren't able to participate in a band for whatever reason.

* It's a LOT of fun to sit and listen to all the other entries. I had no idea how talented some of the folks on the other forum were til we started doing this. Some of those guys are mind-blowingly great songwriters, some are incredible lead players, some generate awesome riff after awesome riff, some create mood/atmosphere with their songs that is totally next level. You probably fall into one of those categories, but the rest of us have no idea cause you aren't sharing it with us... Honestly, if I was trying to assemble a touring/recording band, I'd cherry pick from that pool of players first.

* No one who has participated sucks - even though a lot of them think they do. You don't suck either - stop telling yourself that.

* I've always believed there are two types of musicians: the creative ones and the ones who bring creations to life. If you're in the former group, then write a song and/or lead every week. If you're in the latter, then cover a song and/or lead. It's a win/win.

And, if anyone has any questions on how to do this hit me up - I'm all about sharing what I've learned over the years. If I can help you, it helps me. I'm selfish like that...
Sounds like fun! Not sure I could do once a week but would like to participate.

After about five years of having them packed away, I FINALLY was able to drag my electronic kit out of storage into the basement. Will be setting those up today, and that should make recording a lot easier and more fun. I grew up as a drummer so trying to do anything drum related on a computer sucked.
Man, I really need something like this in my life as a prompt. Just not sure I have the
available time/energy to commit to something like this while doing the whole parenting
gig without a live-in Nanny, Chauffeur, Chef, Trust Fund, and Personal Bitch.

Have my sights set on 2024-25. :beer

Playing in a band with other people AND writing and recording original music are why
I play music. Those two things are my loves. :love
I may like to get involved in this, but I'd probably need to really research DAWs, which would depend on the cost and effort needed to learn how to use one.

That's just my own personal issue, that I'm sure I'd be grateful for any help with. But I was thinking bi-weekly would be a happy medium, and I would hope anyone, even non-participants, could vote, as well as offer their thoughts on the submissions.
Sounds like fun! Two problems, though… 1. Playing leads is not my strong suit and 2. I don‘t think I have enough creativity in me and/or time to flesh out a whole new song every week.