Monday, June 24, 2019

5 Tips for Arranging Your Songs

 So you've written a few songs and you want to record some demos. What do you do next. The important job of learning to arrange your song is the next part of the song creating process. So here are several important things you can do to help you get started arranging your song.

1. Intro - Create an amazing intro. A really catchy, interesting into will be very useful for you when you are beginning to arrange your song. If your song starts with the perfect into then it will grab the listener's attention and propel them to listen to the next section of the song. It doesn't have to have relation to other parts of the song, and can stand on it's own. Elton John's song "Your Song," is a great example of this. The intro stands alone, apart from the song, and was added in the arrangement process in the recording studio. However, it establishes the greatness of the song to follow, and is hard to imagine "Your Song" without the intro.

2. Sonic Treats - Plan for Sonic Treats throughout the song. The idea is that certain sounds will be used as ear candy just to grab the listener's attention for just a moment and also propel them to listen to the rest of the song.

3. Try various types of song forms - When you are finished writing your song, you might feel that you are finished and your song is in it's final form. But you might find that when you are recording it that you might want to rearrange the form of your song. Maybe it is better to start with the chorus, or to move the bridge to another part of the song. Keep an open mind and see what pops up in the arrangement process.

4. Song Parts - This brings up another topic, song parts. When you are working on your song, determine which parts of the song are really needed. Maybe you don't need a bridge, maybe you should add a pre-chorus. You won't know until you experiment a little.

5. Buildups and Dropouts - Plan buildups and dropouts for various parts of the song in order to give the song more dynamic range. By building up more and more instruments to a song, you create a larger sonic pallet, but when you drop out to just a couple instruments or voices, you change dynamics greatly and give something exciting for the listener to experience. 

Arrangement is an important part of finishing a song, and a good arrangement can really help improve your songs. If you found these tips helpful, you can find out more about songwriting tips and tricks in my new book: "Lyrics and Music: Music Theory for Aspiring Songwriters" available now at, or with several additional Appendices at Barnes and Noble..

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