Re-Arranging The Song
Sometimes a song could be a hit but for some reason it doesn’t take off. Here are a few tricks where playing around with the arrangement can make a big difference.
Start by making sure that the basic melody is catchy, very catchy and is hugely memorable. This could be the vocal line, however it could also be the groove or general hooks in the music that stand out, like when you hear four bars of music on the radio and you just have to listen to that song again and again. The radio will not play it again right away so you will probably end up buying/downloading it yourself. This is what we want music fans to do, purchase the music.
Let’s assume that you have recorded the track, either in a studio or in your own home. Load it into a computer program if you are familiar with sequence/audio software or do it with someone who knows how to use it. Load the finished mix onto one track and line the start up so that it sits with bar two in the sequencer. Set the tempo of the song to the correct tempo, e.g. bpm=120. Now cut with the scissor tool the song at strategic points, after the intro, before the bridge, before the chorus, etc. Start to shift the different parts around a bit to see how your song changes in front of you. Try to start the song with the chorus, maybe cut the intro if it feels too long. Bounce these edits as MP3 files and load them onto your iPod. Listen to them, play them on a home stereo or in car, etc., and get a feel for how they ‘work’. In the 70′s in New York when disco hit the charts, record producers would walk into the clubs and put one single loudspeaker right onto the dance floor, and listen. That was an excellent way to see if the beat was right or too slow or to fast. Then they would go back to the studio once more. We can’t stress this enough when you are a new act, it’s so important to have that one track that breaks you onto the radio. It’s much better than having a full album of average songs.
Here is a little tech talk about mastering. Mastering is the very last thing to do before your track goes out. In the older days of music it was a way of making sure that an album that was recorded at different locations and studios sounded similar all the way through, that the levels were similar, etc. It is the last polish to a production. You can get mastering done for cheap these days, even online. It’s cheap because it takes little time as the mastering engineers have professional software on their computers. You could also do it yourself by purchasing some basic software and compare your own mastering against some of the recordings of your favorite bands.
No program manager at a radio station would play a poorly recorded song right after a well-produced song by a band such as Coldplay.