I can’t find my verification email!!

Check your spam folder. For whatever reason (admin is currently troubleshooting), these are going into peoples’ spam folders. This only applies if you signed up with an email and password. If you signed up with a social account (Twitter, Facebook, Google), your account is already verified.

So How Does NaSoAlMo work?

NaSoAlMo is open to everyone, and there is no cost to participate. Follow the steps below to your successful month of music-making:

  1. Register for the challenge on this website. You will choose your artist name and an album title, which can always be updated before, during and after NaSoAlMo.
  2. Announce to the world that you are going to write and record an album in November! Say hello on the Reddit page, and Facebook group if you haven’t yet. Get your fan base hyped for your finished product. Alternatively, tell no one but start pumping yourself up for an intense month of fun and productivity.
  3. Prior to the first of November: Although you cannot start writing lyrics or recording anything that you will use on your album, you can prepare for the busy month ahead. Set up your recording space and equipment, gather your musical instruments, install editing software, or whatever else you need to do so you are prepared on the 1st of November. Remember, there is no right way to make an album, and the equipment involved can range from low-tech to hi-tech. Zero planning is also a legitimate “strategy”.
  4. On the 1st of November at 12:00AM (local time), let the music-making begin!
  5. From the 1st of November to the 30th, write and record your solo album. The “rules” include:
    • The finished album must be a minimum of 29:09 minutes
    • It should include all original material, with the exception of one song which may be a cover
    • The style, instruments, recording equipment, content and form are all up to you. If you think it’s music, it’s music.
  6. During the month, feel free to also post on the Reddit page and Facebook group about your trials, tribulations, and successes. The month will be roller-coaster ride of creative ups and downs and the subreddit and Facebook group are both great places to share your experiences with people around the world who are all going through the same thing.
  7. Finish by the 30th of November at midnight (local time). If you have an album of at least 29:09 then you are a winner and have earned entry into the hallowed ranks of the Holders of the Golden Record!
  8. Update your entry to reflect that you’ve finished, and proudly announce to the world your success as the writer and performer of a solo album. You can now spend the rest of your life working into conversation gloating tidbits like “When I was writing my first album…”

For the purposes of NaSoAlMo, what exactly is a solo album?

An collection of music you have written, played and recorded entirely by yourself. The shortest arguably awesome album that a lot of people have heard* is the first Ramones album**, which is 29:09 long, so your solo album must be at least that long. Beyond that, its form and content are up to you.

* It has been pointed out to the administrators that Slayer’s Reign In Blood is 29:03 and that Nick Drake’s Pink Moon–which actually is a solo album–is a mere 28:22. You may set your personal goals accordingly, if you wish.

** Since the Ramones album includes a cover of “Let’s Dance,” your NaSoAlMo album may, if you wish, include one cover of somebody else’s song.

So is this a competition? Who’s judging it? What do I win? What if it’s not good enough? Do I have to send it in? Do I have to play it for anyone? Help!

No. This isn’t a competition, this is a challenge. Winners are anyone who completes a solo album by the 30th of November. What you will have won is that you will have made an album by yourself. You don’t need to play it for anyone else, and you certainly don’t have to send it in. You are welcome to share a link to the finished album, but this is not a requirement. It doesn’t have to please anyone but yourself, and even that isn’t really necessary. You are going for your own personal best here. The point is actually doing the work; starting and finishing the project. The deadline makes it easy!

Does it have to be professional-sounding?

Of course not. It doesn’t have to be professional-anything; the point is the fun of making it. This challenge encourages you to record with whatever you’ve got around the house.

How do I sign up for NaSoAlMo? And then what do I do?

Sign up by the end of October by registering on this site. At 12:01 AM, local time, on the 1st of November, you can start work on your solo album. When you’ve finished by midnight on the 30th of November, update everyone on your progress to be recognized in the winner’s hall of fame as a Holder of the Golden Record.

Can I do this with a band? Can my friend play drums/sing etc?

Unfortunately, not for NaSoAlMo. This is a solo album!

Do I have to take a month off of work to make this happen? Does participating in this challenge mean that I will not see my friends/family in November?

No, not at all. While obviously NaSoAlMo is a big undertaking, it is possible to fit it into a normal working and life schedule. You too can hold down a job and make an album!

Isn’t this just a rip-off of NaNoWriMo?!

Yes. Totally. Thanks go to Chris Baty and team for the inspiration. The concept of a month of literary abandon also works well when applied to a month of musical abandon.

Does this site host the music?

No, it does not. However, two popular places to upload and share your music for free are Soundcloud and Bandcamp.

Do I have to pay to participate?

Absolutely not! This is a free challenge for everyone. Please note that this website is run on a volunteer basis. We want everyone to have a successful month of creative music-making and we will do our best to encourage you all in your endeavors and to keep the website up and running.