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3 Ways To Make A Song Dynamic

August 29, 2013

2013-8-29-2013d People want things to stay interesting! The easiest way to keep your songs fresh and engaging is to utilize dynamics.

In the most brief and simple definition, dynamics (in music) refer to the volume or intensity of a song or note. An extremely dynamic song has really soft parts and really intense parts, where as an undynamic never changes intensity. But dynamics can be very subtle, like simply going from the verse to the chorus. Your songs already use dynamics, but here are three simple to increase their dynamic range (thus making it more effective).

1 – Add a Breakdown – Briefly take the song down a notch (after the solo or bridge for example). Drop out some instruments for a few bars and open up the space. Being sparse is the key here. If all the instruments are always playing all time, things can get cluttered and claustrophobic. The best way is to refresh is take things away for a second then bring ’em back.

2 – Build The Intro – On the opposite side of the spectrum, start the song without every instrument playing. Start with one or two and slowly add instruments throughout the intro. The classic “Smoke On The Water” is a great example. For may have heard it a million times, or you’ve never heard it. Either way, listen to how effective this intro-build is.

3 – Backing Vocals – One of the easiest to thicken a song is to add a backing vocal or harmony. It can be stupid simple. Maybe if the 2nd chorus had a harmony it would drive more than the 1st chorus. Cliched as they may be, adding some “oo’s” and “ooh’s” could do the trick depending on genre. Maybe a hard rock song could use a gang vocal shout of “Hey!” or something. It could be anything, but backing vocals are often one of the most overlooked things in a lot of local bands. You don’t have to have great singers do your backing vocals, just try it!

The Key to Freshness: Dynamics really are the key to keeping your songs fresh. You wanna keep the listener engaged from start to finish, so don’t give them something unchanging that they can just ignore. You don’t have to jolt them with abrupt mood swings, but you certainly don’t need to give them a song that they can sleep to. So go ahead and add some dynamics to your songs at your next rehearsal. What are some ways you can think of that add dynamics to your songs?


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