The first steps to make a music CD set the tone for your whole project. The energy you put into the groundwork lays the foundation for everything else…
- How easy it will be to do your project.
- How it will feel when people listen to your final product.
A crucial first step to make a music CD is picking songs or tunes that fit together. While this sounds simple, it seems to be an area that gets glossed over in the enthusiasm to get going.
Look at your CD as a WHOLE unit:
- What mood do you want to convey to your listener?
- What do you want them to know?
- What do you want them to feel?
- What do you have to “tell” them?
Music is non-verbal. But you can take the same care you would when you write a story. If you wrote something like this…
Randall smashed a rock through the upper story window of the house and pulled his gun from his belt. The sunset was beautiful.
…your brain would probably stop in the middle of the story and wonder what a sunset has to do with the story’s action.
In the same way, if you set a certain direction with your music, it’s good to maintain that direction. That does not mean you have to limit your music to the same style or even the same rhythms. But the overall FEELING of your CD should be consistent.
Picking the Right Keys
If you are a singer, picking the right key for each song is crucial. Try singing each song in at least three different keys. Move it up a ½-step. Then move it down a ½-step. Find the most comfortable key to sing in, after your voice has warmed up. The key will dramatically change the energy and feel of the piece, and show off your best vocal qualities.
- Can you sing the lowest notes easily so it doesn’t sound like you’re straining?
- What about the highest notes?
- Does it sound smoother in one key than another?
- Does it have more edge in one key than another (if you want that)?
Although you can now electronically correct almost any pitch problems, the energy and quality of your vocal is really what people will feel. No matter how wonderful the band or orchestration is behind your vocal, it cannot improve your energy. And that is most often influenced by the key.
Choosing consistent music with the right keys will start your project off on the right foot.
All the best,
BellaOnline’s Musician Editor