Well, it’s way past my bedtime, so you know what that means: my writing skills are at their utmost peak. It’s your lucky day.
I’m going to bed soon, but I tried writing this long blog about different ways to write vocal parts and it ended up boring as a parliamentary debate with the sound off. Needless to say, quite boring. Quite quite quite.
I’ma hit chu wit dis right quick, and give you a little tidbit each blog. So this is only ONE recommendation for writing vocals, with others to follow in other blogs. This one focuses on how to get more words out in less time. We are going to use other people’s music to help us to do that.
Singing other people’s music is always easier than singing your own, and we can often perform other people’s music much more convincingly than our own. Why is that?
Really, it’s repetition. So if we are to be able to give a quality performance, your song must become other people’s music
Ok, so let’s say you have your lyrics written and in front of you. Now spit them over your bed (that’s backing track, for the squares), working loosely, and track it.
Some syllables will lock to the beat, and sound good. These are called in the pocket. As in Polly Pocket. Or pocket pool. Or perhaps “Polly Pocket Pool”.
Others will not be in the pocket. Delete the parts that do not lock to the rhythm. Mute the vocal track take.
Spit your lyrics again, working loosely, delete the parts that don’t work. If the second take is the same as the first take, you are not spitting your lyrics fast enough. Spit faster. Experiment. Take a risk for once in your life; this isn’t junior prom.
Do this ad nauseum.
Use the undeleted parts to create a continuous vocal track. So what if some lyrics appear a bar later. Quantize to quarter notes and move it earlier in the song, so that it follows immediately on the previous part. The quarter notes will ensure that even though you move the part, it is still on the down beat. If that doesn’t work well enough, go to half notes. If you dare! No but really, half notes won’t change the relationship between the vocal rhythm & beat. Unless you have the beat at the wrong tempo. Should be 4 beats to a bar. You might have it at double or half time, in which figure it out yourself.
Print the vocal track to a format that can be put on disc or on your Apple-like iMP3 iplayer and take it with you wherever you go. Listen to it. Pretend it’s a real song, and memorize it. Now your song can become other people’s music, and become ingrained in your psyche.
Come back to the track at a later date, and record the vocals as a single pass. It will just be like recording a cover, but of your own original lyrics.
And that’s how it’s done my friends.