Sequencing Your Home Recording Songs - dummies

By Jeff Strong

Sequencing your songs consists of choosing the order of the songs on the CD as well as the amount of silence between each song. When you wrote and recorded your songs, you probably had an idea about the order in which you wanted them to appear on your CD. If you don’t know how you want to arrange your songs, here are some things to consider:

  • Consider each song’s tempo in the sequencing equation. Some CDs work well if songs with a similar tempo are placed together, while others work best when contrasting songs follow one another.

  • Think about a song’s lyrics and how they relate to the lyrics from the other songs on your CD. If you want to tell your listener a story, consider how the order of the songs can best tell that story.

  • Think about the chords that you used in each song and how they relate to another song that you may want to place before or after it in the sequence. The ending chord of one song can conflict with the beginning chord of another.

Aside from having to decide how your songs are ordered on your CD, you also have to think about how much time you put between each song in order to create the most impact. Many people assume that you use a set amount of time between all the songs on each CD.

This isn’t the case. You can put any amount of silence between each song that you feel is appropriate to set the mood that you want. Sometimes you may want just a second or two; other times, four or five seconds is more appropriate.

For example, if you have a mellow ballad followed by an upbeat song, you may want to leave a little more time between these two songs so that the listener is prepared for the faster song (try leaving a space that’s 4 to 6 beats long at the slower song’s tempo, for instance)

Or, if you want two tunes to flow together, you can leave less time in between them. Use your ears and think about how you want your listener to respond when going from one song to another.