Create Your Arrangement: Comparing Songs - dummies

Create Your Arrangement: Comparing Songs

By Pamelia S. Phillips

Determining which song arrangement to add to your repertoire depends on many factors. When comparing songs you need to at least consider the storyline and strength, the performance venue, and what sort of accompaniment you will have.

“Get Down Tonight,” recorded by K.C. & The Sunshine Band, is a great song for dancing, but the lyrics repeat a lot and it doesn’t have a strong story. It’s also a song that may sound boring with just the piano and no other instruments.

“Simply Irresistible,” as recorded by Robert Palmer, and “Lollipop,” as recorded by The Chordettes, are two more examples of songs that have a great hook but may not have great stories or work without the instruments. They’re fun songs, but not great choices to sing by yourself or without a major arrangement with your backup band.

On the other hand, “Desperado,” as recorded by The Eagles, has a great story and simplicity that lends itself to a solo with piano. “Lipstick on Your Collar,” as recorded by Connie Francis; “Blue Moon,” written by Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart; and “Respect,” as recorded by Aretha Franklin can also be arranged so that you sound great singing with a piano.

These examples are just a few of the songs that have a great story, sound good with a piano, and work well for a one-person performance.

You don’t have to spend a lot of money paying a musician to arrange a song for you; you can experiment with some familiar songs to get the hang of making a song your own. Think of a familiar song that you know very well. You can use the hymn “Amazing Grace” or familiar tunes such as “Happy Birthday,” or “Old MacDonald.”