Is your song ready to demo?

  1. Check your song form. Make sure you have the same chord structure from verse to verse and chorus to chorus etc.
  2. Watch your vocal range. A typical vocal range is about one octave and a third….or 15-16 notes. If you’re straining to sing the song then most demo singers will too…not to mention your target audience. People like to sing along with songs so that should be your goal. Remember that harmonies will go a long way in building  melodic excitement in your chorus.
  3. Watch out for what I term “song gimmicks”…things like ritards (slowing down to a stop at the end of a bridge etc) and key modulations. These are  overused for the most part and are seldom done by the pro writers. Today’s music is really groove-oriented so you have to be careful about losing the momentum of the song. Modulations can work if the melodic range is small and you want to build excitement in the final chorus but just be wary of extra notes it adds to the scale.
  4. Song length. You really want to keep your song at under 4 minutes if possible…less is never bad…more can be a problem. You want to avoid long intros and musical turnarounds after your chorus also. A solo is cool if your song is uptempo and maybe there is no bridge. If you’re not adept at writing musical intros or turnarounds don’t worry…we can work that out for you.
  5. Lyric meter. Pay special attention to how your song “sings”. If a line sounds or feels awkward then try speaking that line to see where the natural accents fall…sing it like you’d say it!
  6. The worktape. We go by the words on the lyric sheet and not the worktape so make sure you proofread your lyric for errors. Most writers know how to make an mp3 of their cd worktape these days but if you can only do a cassette or cd and snail mail it then that’s fine also. Just make sure the vocal level/instrument level are balanced. Any notes you want to supply about how you hear the song being produced are helpful.

No fancy fonts for your lyric document…plain ol’ Arial at about 12-14 pt. font size is great. Try to keep your lyric on one page if possible. If your chorus is identical each time then just print “CHORUS” instead of retyping each one. Don’t double-space or use caps on everything…keep it simple. You can indent the chorus and bridge lyric if you wish. Send your lyric as a WORD document or as a TEXT file please.

Categories: Industry Advice