From a few minutes to many years.
Some songs just come out in a package within a few minutes. This happens less often, but usually these songs naturally attract listeners in some way. It may seem strange to a songwriter that people really like this song when it came out so quickly and at that time seemed insignificant.
Most songs take hours or days to create. It can start with lyrics or a melody and then with instruments and such—or the opposite approach. You refine one or the other until you feel it’s good enough. a bunch of bounces, but some gems come out too. This is an essential part of the industrious song craft.
In addition, there are songs that for some reason drag on for years. Once I wrote a song with the first verse and a chorus. I knew that this song was a guardian, but the second verse eluded me for a long time, and I gave up. About a year later I pulled out out of the folder, and, voila, the second verse poured out. Irving Berlin had a draft of “God Bless America” in the trash heap, which had been stored in a chest for decades until he took it out and finished—the time seemed to come, and it helped him prove that he was not an anti-American communist. Sometimes it is impossible to determine the purpose or time of the appearance of the muse.
How long will it take to record a song in the studio?
Calculating the amount of time to allow a song to be recorded in the studio can be difficult for beginners. Both the time and the price depend on the song you are recording and whether you are recording it solo or in a group. But in any case, there are factors that will help achieve the desired result with minimal waste of valuable time.
The answer to the original question can be different. It all depends on talent and performance. If this is your first entry, we recommend stocking up on a couple of hours. Then you will be able to physically and mentally tune in, find a common language with the sound engineer and boldly get to work.
It is desirable to take more time to work with a vocal teacher. You can divide it into 2 days: practice on the first, and leave the recording of the song in the studio on the second.
However, the recording itself should not be divided into several sessions, be it vocals or an instrument. The sound depends on many tiny details: from the direction of the microphone to the distance from the sound source. The sound engineer will have to tune all the equipment every session, which is a waste of your time.
Not only the equipment can change the quality of the recording. The right attitude and good mood – there is no price! There is no need to worry and think that time is wasted. This will only lead to nerves and ruin the whole song.
Are you a beginner? This is the only guide you’ll need
Ever dreamed of writing songs but didn’t know where to start? Here are some simple tips from a practitioner with 25 years of experience.
It’s an interesting idea to visit a songwriter anytime, anywhere. And, of course, you want to record it. It’s important to be prepared for this. Therefore, stock up on notebooks, pens and always keep them at hand – at home, at work and in the car. Even if only a name comes up, even if only from one word, do not be too lazy to save it too.
Learn how to quickly open the voice recorder on your smartphone – suddenly it will be more convenient for you to just sing a melody or say the words to a new song.
With the preparation finished, and now for the inspiration. One way or another, we are all influenced by different performers, composers and musicians. Make a playlist with the work of the authors you appreciate the most – let it help you not to lose this very inspiration.
Decide on the structure of the song
To do this, you need to know what parts the songs generally consist of. Let’s look at this with examples.
In the simplest case, the song has only one component – the verse (let’s call it “A”). Such is George Gershwin’s popular Summertime aria.
The verse in it is repeated twice (that is, its structure will be AA ). Listen for yourself:
In songs with a chorus, there are already two different parts (since the verse is “A”, then let the chorus be “B”). So in the famous song of Bob Dylan Blowin’ in the Wind (“In the breath of the wind”).
Here is its structure: ABABAB
There is also a more complex structure – from the verse “A”, the chorus “B” and the bridge “C”. The Beatles have such a song – this is Ticket to ride (literally “Ticket for the road” or “Ticket for the train”; read more about the name of the song and its history in Wikipedia . – Per.).
The structure here is already this: ABABCABCAB .
Listen and analyze your favorite songs (pay attention to the repetitive parts within each).
This way you will learn to distinguish one song structure from another and will be able to experiment with them in your work.
How to write lyrics
The song is a concise creative form. Therefore, it is important that its text be united by some common idea. If there are a lot of thoughts, don’t try to fit them all into one song – it’s better to write several different ones.
Wherever you start, it’s helpful to describe the idea of the song in one or two sentences – to make a logline. He will gather you, help you not to spread your thoughts along the tree, and always remind you of the essence.
For the Beatles’ song Ticket to ride , a similar logline might look like this: “ My girlfriend is leaving me. And I’m sad, but she doesn’t care” (original: “My girlfriend is moving away from me and I am sad, but she doesn’t care.” – Transl.).
By the way, it’s not necessary to write all the words in one sitting: many songwriters limit themselves to a verse or chorus and continue working later when inspiration returns.
We compose a melody, select chords
For musical experiments, a voice recorder on a smartphone or computer is great. Sing your text in different ways. Do this at least three times and listen to what happened.
And someone, on the contrary, prefers to start with chords. Play a few chords on the guitar or piano and record on the recorder. Sing the text under them, compare.
Or try to combine everything at once: lyrics, invented melody and selected chords.
If you can’t think of a good chord progression, you can borrow it from another song with a similar style and rhythm. The main thing is not to copy the melody itself: it is protected by copyright (but the chord progression as such is not).
Coming up with a name
The song needs a good title! Someone puts a hook into it (the most catchy line), someone – repeated words from the chorus. There is no single recipe here: the name can even be descriptive, abstract, that is, without a single word from the text itself.
Polishing the result
Is the first version ready? Now let your song rest. Don’t even think about it for a couple of days. You will return with a fresh look and hearing – and the song will appear before you in a new light. Most likely, you will want to refine the text or replace some chords – and your creation will sound even cooler.
The finished song can be tested in public. For example, perform at an open mic evening or at least in front of your music mentor. Actual performance and feedback will help correct bugs and smooth out bumps that you yourself did not notice.
Another great idea is to record your performance and put it online. In our age, this is easy to do even at home (a good microphone and special software are enough). Let your work be appreciated by potential fans and other artists. Or maybe even music producers will like your talent.