Kick It Up a Notch

How can tweaking your performance improve your songwriting?

You may find that an otherwise perfectly good song lacks emotion, and you can’t figure out why. Maybe it’s your vocal? Here’s a tip to breathe a little fire into a weak, or lackluster vocal.

Raise the key of your song. Sound too easy? Have you ever tried to cover a hit song, but had to lower the key? Doesn’t it sound “flat,” energy-wise as well as pitch-wise? You can work this in reverse by taking a ho-hum song and kicking it up a notch (or two).

Here’s what happens:

1. You may find your voice has more power in a higher range; that you can “wail” it out better when you sing it higher.

2. Raising the key may cause you to use different chord voicings on your guitar, keyboard, or what have you. This can alter the energy, too.

Try raising the key a whole step. Too much? Try a half step. Too little? Try two steps. The idea is to get yourself out of a rut, and into a better song. Sometimes changing the key works wonders.

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