Saturday, December 09, 2006

One song - multiple versions

Another idea that emerged at our songwriting group - preparing different versions of a song for different purposes, i.e. on stage solo, on stage with accompaniment, and for CD. There are a few artists that I hear play live and then don't like their CDs. Others I only love their CD’s.

A few ideas on this are:

Song length – The songs should be shortest when playing solo. If you think in terms of variety, one person can only do so much. Adding another person gives more options for variety (i.e. a lead break, harmony, or just more movement).

Space between lyrics and chord changes – The gaps between lyrics or chord changes should be the shortest when playing solo. I’m not saying to play faster. What I’m saying is don’t hang out on one chord too long. A lead guitarist could fill that gap, but if nothing other than one chord is happening, you might lose your audience. The concept is to always have some movement.

Hearing once or multiple times - For an audience, you have one shot to make your point. On CD, you hope they listen multiple times.

Level of difficulty - In a studio, you have an opportunity to make mistakes. On stage, you may want an easier version.

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