A Good Recording Needs a Good Song As a Starting Point

I still believe that no matter how excellent the quality of gear is these days, and how easy it is to do your own sound recording, that if you really want an excellent product to “shop around,” it’s a great idea to hire a professional producer. A producer is positioned to be more objective about your music, in the best sense of that word. And the good ones know how to properly target an audience.

But hiring a pro is going to cost, and right now you may be more focused on other things, like building a fan base and getting better performing gear.

So you are likely going to be recording your own songs, and in that sense, you’re not just a songwriter; you’re a producer. You may not think of it that way, but any time you record your own songs, you’re producing.


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It’s no accident that the legendary producers and engineers also happen to have worked with legendary songwriters. It takes a great song to make a great recording, and if your songs have problems, there’s only so much you can fix in the recording process.

Just because recording is so easy and so inexpensive doesn’t mean that you’ll get a good result to show for your efforts. That’s particularly true if your song has weaknesses, or if you’re missing some of the fundamentals of good songwriting technique.

So if you’re trying and failing to get the kind of recording that’s making your song stand out and get noticed, it may actually have little to do with the quality of your recording, and more to do with the quality of your song. Here’s how you might notice that:

  1. Your spending all your studio time trying to get your song to have a captivating build between the verse and the chorus, when actually the melody itself isn’t building properly. That’s a songwriting issue.
  2. You’re noticing lacklustre moments in the instrumentation, when actually it’s your chord choices that are killing musical momentum. That’s a songwriting issue.
  3. You’re pumping up the sound in the bridge because you want to get more intensity, when actually it’s the bridge’s lack of harmonic/key development that’s letting you down. That’s a songwriting issue.
  4. Your verse lyric seems very intense, so you’re reworking instrumentation to get a more transparent opening, when in fact you should be fixing the lyric. That’s a songwriting issue.
  5. You’re finding it hard to connect the verse to the chorus, when in fact it really needs a pre-chorus to help the connection. That’s a songwriting issue.

As you can see, just those 5 situations listed above will translate into hours of wasted studio time — time better spent fixing the song in the first place.

If you ever needed a reason to spend some strengthening your understanding of the fundamentals of songwriting, you’ve got it!

If you want to make better recordings of your songs, you need better songs as a first step. There’s only so much even an excellent producer will ever be able to do for you if you’re weak on the fundamentals of songwriting.

Fix that part of the equation first, and you’ve got something that can truly sparkle in the studio.


Written by Gary Ewer. Follow Gary on Twitter

“The Essential Secrets of Songwriting”, 3rd editionKnowing there’s something wrong with your song is not the same thing as knowing how to fix it! “The Essential Secrets of Songwriting” is included in a complete and comprehensive 10-eBook songwriting bundle. It reveals 11 basic fundamental principles of good songwriting. Make your songs excellent before you take them to the studio!

 

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  1. Pingback: A Good Recording Needs a Good Song As a Starting Point - The Hit Songwriting Formula | The Hit Songwriting Formula

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