Concept

How to Make a Concept Album? 5 Steps to Create Your Own Concept Album

It’s hard to know how to make a concept album?

You want your music to be more than just a collection of songs, but you don’t know where to start.

This article will give you the tools and knowledge you need in order to make an album that tells a cohesive story from start to finish. We’ll teach you what it means for something or someone (such as an artist) to “have a concept,” how this differs from other types of albums like mixtapes and playlists, and we’ll show some examples of great concept albums so that you can see how it’s done by people who’ve already done it well. By the end, we hope that you have enough information about making conceptual projects that are engaging and meaningful!

What is A Concept Album?

What is A Concept Album?
What is A Concept Album?

A concept album is an album that ties together a theme or story. This means there are at least two songs on the album that belong together and follow this central narrative. Sometimes it’s more than just 2-3 songs, and the whole album tells one story. These albums usually have a particular mood to them, or they can be tied together by instrumentals or other sounds throughout the project.

Why should you make one?

Concept albums can be a great way to explore a certain idea or topic. If you’re trying to tell a story, it’s easier to do that across multiple songs than by writing one long song. By making the tracks flow together and make sense as an album, there is more room for dynamics and sounds that keep people interested.

How To Make A Concept Album?

How To Make A Concept Album
How To Make A Concept Album

1. Start with the Story

The first thing you want to do is start thinking about what kind of story or experience that you want to tell. This is usually done by writing lyrics down and getting them into a cohesive order. You don’t necessarily have to write all your lyrics at once, but it’ll be easier if you get the basic structure together before moving on.

If you’re not great at writing words yet, try starting out with sounds and noises. Maybe make up some beats and melodies of your own! Try exploring different concepts and let them turn into songs along the way until you find something that excites you.

2. Arrange Your Songs

Once your songs are written (or even before), think about how they will flow together. How can you transition from a song with a particular mood into a different sounding one? Or how do the lyrics of one song compliment those of another? Think about any repetitive sounds or patterns that repeat throughout your songs and make those come up at certain points along the album.

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3. Collaborate With Other People!

If you’re not great at writing lyrics, try getting some help! Get your friends to write you some awesome verses and chorus’, even if they’re only temporary for this project. You don’t have to let them go on forever; just get what you need and then move on and write more yourself! If your singing is pretty bad (like mine), try working on some harmonies with other people as well.

There are lots of great effects you can use to change your voice and make it sound different. If you’re really struggling with vocals, get someone else to sing for you! It’s a lot easier than singing yourself when you’re not super confident about it.

4. Experiment With Sounds + Instruments

The beauty of making a concept album is that nobody has ever heard the songs in the same way as you have. This means getting creative with what sounds or instruments you want to include in your songs, or how they transition together. Maybe there’s a specific element of a song that ties it all together – lyrics, beats, certain instruments etc…

Try experimenting with new things and figure out interesting ways to tie everything together with just one song sounding completely different from the next.

5. Mix & Master

Once all your songs are written and you’ve figured out the arrangement, it’s time to mix them all together into one complete project. This can be a confusing process at first, but there are lots of great resources online that will show you how to do this step by step!

If you don’t know what ‘mastering’ is, read up on it before starting this process because basically mastering means making everything sound nice and loud without completely distorting any element of the song. Once everything is mixed together to your liking, make yourself a copy of the album! Sit back and listen to the whole thing again and see if there’s anything you’d like to fix or change… give it another listen and enjoy!

How to write the songs for your concept album?

Get inspired! Check out some artists that you really love and feel like their music has an emotional connection to you.

Can you figure out why? What is it about the music or lyrics that gets to you? Use this as inspiration for writing your own songs, but try not to copy their style too much… just take what works and use it for parts of your own songs.

Start by making a list of titles based on the ideas in your head.

You might have a few things in mind already: maybe there’s a story there somewhere or perhaps just fragments of emotions and thoughts that move around in your brain when you think about certain things. Try putting these together in different ways; maybe one song will be based around one emotion or story while another song will be the polar opposite.

When you’re ready to start writing, try taking a concept and running with it.

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For example, my album is about one person’s obsession with someone else that they can’t have, so I wrote songs based around different stages of that relationship – how it began, what happened along the way and eventually the ending… this made it easier for me to focus on describing feelings throughout all of those stages rather than skipping from point A to point E etc.

Give yourself some time apart from your project if you struggle to write!

You might find that after not thinking about your songs for a few days/weeks/months you might come back with some interesting things written down.

Figure out a way to make your lyrics stand out even if they’re kind of simple…

I used capital letters for the first letter of each word in some songs because it makes them easier to read and sound more interesting, as well as creating a connection with that song and the listener.

Try not to overuse this though because then it can come across as annoying instead of making things stand out!

Which musicians/sounds should be used in your music?

Which musicians/sounds should be used in your music?
Which musicians/sounds should be used in your music?

This depends on your concept, so it’s mostly up to you.

Check out the past albums of people similar to the sound you want to create and see if there are any specific things that stand out.

For example, maybe an album has a lot of whispering/singing/spoken word passages etc.. figure out why this works for them and try experimenting with that idea in your own music! You can always go back later and change or remove things that don’t work as much as others – having too many instruments/sounds in one song can make it difficult to listen to but sometimes simplicity is better…

Keep developing the sounds before you start working on melodies.

Especially when working with non-instrumental sounds or samples, you might find that the finished product doesn’t sound as good as it did in your head! For example, I was trying to use a door creaking as a sample but it sounded super loud and terrifying so I had to change it for something softer.

You can always go back later and change things around if you’re not happy with them! Get different samples/instruments etc. and experiment with how they work together – most of what you’re working on is still under construction at this point anyway, so nothing’s really set in stone yet.

When you feel like your songs are ready for melodies, sing or play anything over them – even if it sounds stupid (my first version of my album involved me singing ‘la la la’ as a melody… not exactly the most catchy phrase ever lol) it’s still better than having silence.

You might also find that you can sing or play other instruments to come up with their own melodies and ideas, like I did – I was playing around on my keyboard one day and came up with parts of ‘I’m thinking of you now’/’Someday we’ll be free’, both from my album.. this is definitely what made them sound more interesting!

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It’s also worth listening to different genres/styles etc. because inspiration can strike at any time so you should always be prepared!

What is an example of a concept album?

This is a question that can have a million answers depending on who you ask, so I’ll just talk about the most common ones that I’ve heard

  1. The Beatles’ ‘Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’
  2. David Bowie’s ‘Ziggy Stardust’
  3. Coheed and Cambria’s discography

All of these albums (and many others) explore different ideas/stories/concepts throughout their tracklists, which makes them easier to listen to when they’re put together in an album because there are no “filler” songs or dull moments.

This also means that people will be more likely to listen to it all in one go rather than skipping certain songs here and there, making it easier for them to remember the song in a positive way.

An album can also boost a musician’s career if it’s successful so it’s definitely something you should try to achieve!

FAQ about How to Make a Concept Album?

How do I make a concept album?

Start with an idea and expand on it. Just like any great story, you need to have a solid foundation that you can build off of. Add dynamic elements to keep the music interesting and avoid musical ruts. It’s very easy for many bands to fall into the trap of playing in the same key for the whole album, or in the same time signature. This can be very boring for your listener. Also avoid using too much reverb/ambiance when it’s not needed! Too many bands do this and end up with songs that sound muddy and hard to hear.

Who created the first concept album?

The first concept album was “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” (1967) by The Beatles, who had previously released the single “I Want to Hold Your Hand”.

How do you create a music concept?

You create a music concept by having a central theme and writing songs about that theme. Think of it as a movie, where you have an intro, 2 acts, and an outro. Each song is the ‘scene’ in the world of your concept album.

Did the Beatles invent the concept album?

No the Beatles did not invent the concept album. Many artisits of all different genres have been making concept albums for a very long time.

After all of these steps, you should have a concept album that will be an amazing success with your listeners. You may need to experiment and try new things in order to find the best way for you to approach this type of music. The key is just finding what works best for you! Once you start experimenting it can become easier as time goes on. I hope this article has been helpful and given some insight into how someone might go about making their own concept album from scratch. If not, feel free to reach out if there are any questions or concerns – we’re here 24/7!

 

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