Song structure is one of the biggest keys when trying to take your song to the next level. We all have our fair share of struggles with it and combining that factor with starting to work with vocals can be a tricky situation to solve. Well, today we are going to go through 3 tips that could be helpful to take your productions to the next level!
Table of Contents:
1 - Study Music
When I mean study music, I'm talking about arrangements and how to properly build your song. If you listen to a lot of the top Pop Dance songs these past few years, for example, Joel Corry, David Guetta, Raye - BED, every section of the song builds up to something. Starting with smooth chords and then kicking into the build-up where tension starts coming in right away. This is how you let the listener know straight from the get-go that it’s building into something. Drop hits and when you might think it’s gonna go down again it just keeps the groove going so when the real breakdown hits and beats stop, you get that impactful euphoric moment combined with the vocals.
This is something I've personally learned through working in studio sessions with writers and topliners. At the start, I would always bring a full complete record and we would take it from there but, what I learned is that we always ended up reworking it anyways. So these days, I will make something very simple as a start with a couple of smooth chords and melodic elements. This will help a writer get an idea of where to take the song and trigger a feeling of what type of emotion we should try to focus on. This leaves a lot of freedom for both the writer/topliner and the producer. Once you have the idea laid down you can kinda take it to wherever it’s supposed to be rather than being stuck on that first idea that you might have to rework anyway.
3 - Simplicity Is Key
A common thing we producers do is overproduce a song when we should be focused on serving the song and what’s needed, it’s like cooking good pasta with cheese. You need some of it but not too much of it because then the taste will become overwhelming. Try to think from an outside perspective, well yes that sound or section might be very cool but does it really add something to the record or does it still sound good without it? In a lot of cases, simplicity is the best way to go about it.
For example, if you have 8 bars after the first 16 bar drop in your song where you have this super hooky catchy topline, and then the 8-bar section comes and it’s just drums and pads which just makes the song lose its momentum you might be better off skipping that section to go into the section afterward that brings the vocal back in. I’ve had this situation a lot of times where I kept adding on things, overproducing the song, and sections where I felt like it was not going anywhere. Most of the time I’ve just completely skipped that part. Show your song to some nonproducer friends, ask them what parts they like, and look where you see they kinda lose interest. It might not be the most technical feedback but I believe it can help you get an idea of where you need to take the song.
Amero - @itsamero
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