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Write, Arrange, Write

July 18, 2013

“Hey, we got ten songs! That’s enough for an album so let’s start recording!” It’s a very common belief among young bands. It’s all about the number of songs. As soon as there are enough songs, it seems to time to record them right? Wrong.Image

Like anything, songwriting is a skill that gets better with practice. How do you get better? You practice. The more songs you write, you can only get better. My advice to you (and a reminder to myself) is this: write, arrange, then write some some more!

To be me, it would be better to choose the best 10 out of 15 songs to put on an album, instead forcibly putting the only ten you have written. Write a surplus, so that you can be sure you’re putting the best of the best on the album or E.P. And don’t fret, those rejected five songs won’t go to waste. You can rework them instead better songs for the next album. Think about it. Wouldn’t it be easier to fix something you wrote 6 months ago then write something from scratch? Sure, sometimes the latter proves easier, but former is also handy many times.

So what do I mean by “write, arrange, write?” Simple. Write some songs, mess with their arrangements/instrumentation, then write some songs and do it all over again. Practicing your craft only makes you better. 

Some people may not like the “arrange” part of the equation, but one cannot underestimate the power of arrangement. After the song is written, sometimes its best to take a step back and look at how every instrument works together and how the structure flows. “Where can we add a little spice? How bout just the drums and vocals on verse 3? Why double time the last chorus?” This is what producers are good at doing. It can only make your album better and the possibilities are endless, so get cracking!

 

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