How do I participate?

Throughout the month of November:

  1. Record something
  2. Post it on your social media or audio sharing platform of choice (Mastodon, Cohost, Funkwhale, etc.) tagged #novembeat
  3. Repeat

Is there a discussion community?

There is a #novembeat channel on the busybee Discord, which is the closest there is to anything “official.”

Otherwise there is no centralized community forum or discussion area, but several people do discuss using the #novembeat hashtag on social media, and discussions pop up on songwriting forums all over the Internet.

What length should each song be?

It should be whatever length is appropriate for the song.

16 bars is a pretty good starting point (especially if you’re new to this), but it can be shorter, and you can also make it a lot longer if you want.

What do I get for participating?

The satisfaction of having done it. And maybe you’ll get an album or two out of it.

If you’re doing this to produce an album, also consider joining NaSoAlMo, a similar community that’s been going for a bit longer than Novembeat!

I’m totally new to music, can I participate?

Of course! There is no required skill level, and this is a great opportunity for learning how to do new things.

Here’s some free or cheap software that you can use to get started:

  • LMMS: A free, open-source music DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) for Windows, Linux, and macOS
  • Want to go oldschool? Check out a tracker like Schism or Furnace
  • You can also make music without installing anything using a web-based tracker like Beepbox
  • A lot of musicians (including professionals!) use Reaper, which is inexpensive, and comes with an extremely generous free trial period
  • Every Mac and iPhone/iPad now comes with a free copy of GarageBand, so if you already have an Apple device you probably have that!

Where are the prompts?

Starting in 2019, there are “official” prompt lists. But these are entirely optional; feel free to make and share your own, or go entirely promptless!

What’s the history of Novembeat?

This project was started in 2016 by Paul Starr. The original concept, posted as a tweet:

#novembeat starts today!

🎼UP TO 16 bars of music
🎹Every day in November
🎤Posted wherever you want
🔊Tagged #novembeat


— Paul Starr (@pts), November 1, 2016

Since 2017 the initiative has mostly been run by fluffy, who also runs this website. For more of fluffy’s music, check out Sockpuppet and

Can I get my Novembeat posts/playlists/albums/etc. featured here?

Sure! If you’d like me to add something, get in touch and I’ll see what I can do. Some means you can use (from most- to least-likely to succeed):

Include the following information:

  • The name you’d like to be known as
  • A link to your website, if any
  • Link(s) to your music in the form of an embeddable playlist (e.g. YouTube, Funkwhale, Bandcamp album, etc.)

Please note that I maintain this website more or less by hand (there’s no Algorithm or Discovery) so it might take a while for things to show up, and I’m not going to update it every time you post a new track.

And of course, if you release an album with your Novembeat output, absolutely let me know!

Where should I post my tracks?

Here are a few options for hosting your music in an embeddable playlist:

  • Use Bandcrash to upload the album to
  • Put an album on Bandcamp (if you do this, mark it as a “preview” while you work on it so that you can do a proper release when you’re done!)
  • Find a Funkwhale instance to join (or host one yourself, if you’re able!)
  • Convert your music into a video and add it to a playlist on YouTube
  • Self-host your files and provide player interface via MusicFolderPlayer or jPlayer or the like (just as long as I can embed it with an <iframe>)

I am of course happy to hear about any other approaches!

What if I want to do it when it’s not November?

I mean, nobody’s stopping you.

Here’s some other regular music challenges to consider:

  • Song Fight!, a weekly-ish songwriting challenge where you’re given a title to write a song for (possibly the earliest and definitely the longest-running Internet songwriting challenge, since 2000!)
  • In January there’s Jamuary, which in turn came from Fun-A-Day
  • February has FAWM, which also hosts the Fifty-Ninety challenge from July through October
  • Weekly Beats is a year-long challenge to make one beat every week

What about #noisevember and #notevember and …?

Feel free to use whatever hashtags you want, or none at all! It’s all about having fun making music together, and the point to the hashtags is just to be found. As far as I know this is the only one with a website, but that’s just so that I can collect and share the stuff people make. It’s all good.

Do note, however, that #notevember is also used by people who are writing daily notes (as in the words/letters kind), so that causes some confusion.

I found a website problem, how can I notify you?

If you’re on GitHub, the best place to submit an issue is on the GitHub issues page. Otherwise, get in touch with me on Mastodon, Cohost, via email, or on whatever Discord community you inevitably know me from.