Saturday, February 27, 2016

Choosing the Right Key for Your Song

I'm not going to spend a ton of time on this topic, but rest assured, it is a very important one.  Have you ever tried to sing your favorite song from the radio, your mp3 player, or whatever and find your voice isn't quite up to the challenge?  It's frustrating, right?  So, you probably just give up and think, "I can't sing this one" and move on to something else.

Here's a little known secret: the real reason you probably can't sing the song is because it's not in the right key for you.  That's not to say with a little practice and working with a skilled vocal coach you could never sing it in that key.   But why waste the time and energy when you can just try it in a different key and experience much faster success?

Many times, I work with clients who do not want to change the key of the song they are attempting to sing because they view it as exposing their weakness or something.  I don't see it that way at all.  I think changing the key to fit your voice as a singer plays to your strengths.  So, never be afraid to do it, especially if it allows you to sound better, pretty much instantly!

I am also learning this lesson in my own life.  I'm currently in the songwriting stage for upcoming music projects and am very mindful (this time around) about the keys that I write my music in.  Not only do I need to be able to sing them skillfully when it's time to record, but I also need to make sure the keys of my songs will sound great when I have to perform them over and over again to a live audience.

One of my unreleased songs, "Faithful Father" started out in a higher key.  As I was piecing together lyrics and music, I decided to lower the key a half step, just to see what it sounded like.  Voila!  It was like a different, much stronger singer performing.  The song found its perfect key and my voice found its best sound.

So the next time you're tempted to give up on a hard song, do me a favor and try it out in a different key.  Lower it or raise it depending on your needs.  I bet it will make all the difference!

Happy Singing!

For more tips like these, and a structured program to get you singing at your best, check out my book Ten Weeks to a Better Voice here.

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