Using Musical Elements to Create Your Singing Arrangement - dummies

Using Musical Elements to Create Your Singing Arrangement

By Pamelia S. Phillips

When you start working on your new song, how do you create the arrangement that works for you? How do you make the song yours? You can start by listening to other arrangements to see and hear the elements each artist used to make the arrangement their own.

If you look at the music for “Hound Dog” as sung by Elvis Presley, the music on the page may look bland compared to the sounds that you hear on the recording. Elvis used a variety of sounds with his voice to create a fun song. You can use variations in musical elements, such as dynamics (volume) or tempo (speed), or you can change the colors of your voice or vary the articulation.

You want to think of the song as a journey of music and lyrics. If it’s a journey, you want changes and variations in that journey. If you repeat the same lyrics over and over, it may be fun, but it’s not a journey for the listener and that’s not the kind of song to choose for an audition or competition. Musicians talk about the hook in the song.

The hook is the recurring and memorable part that gets the listener hooked. When you’re searching for just the right song to arrange and make your own, remember that the hook can be the repeating rhythm, melody, or lyrics. You want a hook, but also a story to tell. Making only fun sounds may not be interesting enough to keep your audience listening for the three minutes it takes to sing the song.

You may have seen television shows such as American Idol or The X Factor that ask singers to bring in their own arrangement of a song or to sing a song they don’t know. Because you sometimes have to sing a song a cappella, you want to know how to make it interesting without relying on the instruments.

Using these suggestions on how to make the song your own, as well as what to explore to create your own arrangement, may come in handy when you’re put on the spot and have to master and perform a new song in a short period of time. Build your technical skill so you can confidently apply it.