Advices for Songwriting and Singing
"How y'all doing out there in Guitar Land? I want to introduce you to AdryA... Many say she's got the voice of an angel and an unique way of phrasing... Her music is relaxing, mysterious and gives soul food to its listeners... She is called Adrienn Antal. The artist name AdryA comes from her nickname Adry to which she added the initial of her second name, a capital "A".
Her excellent ear and sense for music, her clean voice were already noticed in the early nursery school years.
She's been impressed by many styles of music, especially by rock (AOR and progressive), synth-pop, dark, alternative and a bit of industrial music. Some of her most favourite bands/performers are: Depeche Mode, Yes, U2, Nine Inch Nails, A-ha, Europe, Asia, Glenn Hughes and a well known hungarian singer/songwriter/poet called Ákos.
She is very talented and a beautiful lady too! I'm lucky enough to get her to write an article on "Advices for Songwriting and Singing." So Please... get some refreshment and sit back for a great read." - Riffmaster
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Advices for songwriting and singing
Writing a good song is a challenge.
There are many different ways to do it, depending on the certain artist(s).
After a long journey of experiences and skills, everyone will find the right
method to use in the future.
To be able to create, it is essential
that you dare to make experiments, love adventures and exploring.
First of all, let me introduce myself.
My name is AdryA (Adrienn Antal), I’m a singer/songwriter from Budapest,
Hungary and have been dealing with music from my childhood. I would like to
share my musical experiences with other artists and also with the curious
readers of this site. I really hope my words will give others impulse, strength,
encouragement and of course some help how to start or go on…
First part: songwriting advices
- The "seed"
In my opinion, the real seed of a song
is the inspiration; that’s where everything comes from, the deepest essence…
The key to the gate of creating. Inspiration is something magical and mysterious
that I can’t really describe, but if I tried I would say it’s a kind of impulse
that wants to be manifested by us.
Inspiration always "strikes” us like a bolt
from the blue, without counting on it. So never want it to come, it doesn’t work
- The idea
Every song starts with an idea,
which can be a short melody you suddenly hear inside, some words that will be a
part of the future lyrics, a fine sequence of chords, a whole verse or refrain…
Let me mention some possibilities that can be useful to find that special idea:
You don’t necessarily need an instrument in front of you. It may be
enough just to croon or sing in the bathroom… But if you feel you have sang
something really catchy, try to repeat it and then save it so you can work it
If you don’t have the opportunity to sing or croon, you can find out some
great melodies on the brain… For example, the idea of my best song came while I
was sitting on a boring lesson and didn’t have the energy to listen to the
lecturer LOL. Once I heard a great refrain in my mind, played by a whole band. I
managed to memorize it (at least something really similar to the original theme)
and recorded the idea as soon as I got home.
It’s always an advantage if you can play an instrument. Improvisation is
one of the best ways to collect ideas. If you are a singer also, it is worth to
sing along with some accompaniment. Never start to improvise on the purpose you
want to write a song! Relax and abandon yourself to the music!
Like an embryo developes into a baby, the
idea becomes a complete song after going though a long and complex process.
Don’t worry if your „rehearsals” are not
successful; never give up! Sometimes it takes a lot of time and trials to get
the right idea.
Always save your ideas, even if you have
only 2 minutes left til you leave… Record them on a tape or on a HDD, don’t care
about the quality for the first time. Or write a score.. You never know which
idea can be the road to a hit song! ;-)
Maybe this is the most difficult session.
It matters a lot how you complete the idea you already have. For example, it’s
not enough if a song starts in a catchy way; you must pay attention to the
continuation and think with the mind of a listener (if you write songs for the
audience and not just for yourself…).
If you haven’t written the lyrics yet and
either don’t know exactly what the topic will be but your idea has a special
atmosphere, it’s pretty enough! Just follow your feelings and let the inner
voice drive you! Words can come later – I think the instrumental version of a
song may be a staff for writing lyrics.
A tip how to go on:
to the idea many times and try to continue it (with singing or with an
instrumental accompaniment or both together). Keep on doing it until you find
the theme you have been looking for. Then try to compose the missing parts of
the song by repeating the method mentioned.
Lay emphasis on dynamics and
extcitement so that the song will have an arc. May it be an emotional journey, a
real musical adventure for the listeners! Try to touch their souls with both
powerful and lyrical, fast and slow, louder and more silent parts… Make it
colourful with different sounds and effects (but don’t use too many)!
In my opinion the two keys to the
listeners’ ears are generally a perfect intro/beginning and a great refrain. The
first impression is the most important, but you should get the audience listen
to the whole song.
Strive for something unique, not for
sounding like other artists or bands. It’s obvious we all have been impressed by
others but let them be just influences.
If your song has more versions, ask
other’s opinion which one is the best. Knowing people’s demand is always
I have heard about many different ways to
write lyrics. Just like songwriting, it depends on the artist how to do it.
For me it’s always music that comes at
first, I like to feel the atmosphere of the song and hear the musical bacground
because it inspires me.
I let the vibes overrun my body and soul,
start playing the music and sing along with it. I try to improvise with words…
it’s the same process I do with melodies when I find out the main idea but now I
do it with words… If I have the first sentence or verse it is much easier to
fill in the remaining gap.
Second part: singing advices
Human voice is the most natural and most
sensitive instrument in the world so it needs much caring and a special
To acquire the best skills it is
recommended to seek a good voice teacher and take as many lessons as you think
you need. It’s important to learn how to breathe correctly and how to manage
It takes time, patience and hard work to
get your voice well-trained so don’t think it’s just a question of days... But
if you feel the development it will motivate you. The key to keeping fit and
getting on an even higher level is regular practicing. Vocal cords behave
like muscles so they need to be trained constantly. But never force them
(especially if you have flu or sore throat), if you feel like „it’s enough” then
leave the rest for the other day! We had better prevent
inflammation of the cords.
Here are some excercises for breathing
- Lay down on the bed. Take a deep
breathe into your stomach and hold it in for a while then slowly blow it out
through your mouth. Repeat it more times.
- To strenghten your diaphram, alter the
previous excercise in the following way: don’t hold in your breath but start
to sing while lying on the bed. (Apply this technique when you are singing
in a normal pose as well.)
- An other great diaphram-strenghtening
practice: stand up, hold a chair or a „heavier” object and lift it up til
your arms get in a horizontal position then start singing. It’s not too
comfortable but very useful!
always practise some scales before
getting into serious singing because vocal cords need to be warmed up. Start
with the easiest excercise that consists of 3 tones or so, then follow with more
Don’t feel less if you can’t get into extra
high (or low) ranges like Whitney Houston or Mariah Carey… It’s not range of
voice that makes you a good singer. Anyway, I think range can be extended by
special excercises but remember: no force! Be careful with extra ranges.
In my opinion it’s unique timbre or tone
that really counts. If you have it then you are very lucky! I bet you know more
singers whose voices you immediately recognise without guessing who they can be…
Never want to copy any other singers even
if you love the way they sing. Strive for developing your own style; this will
make you an individuality!
Technical components are just the
physical part of singing well. What is more important is that you should colour
the melodies with a lot of feelings, fill them with heart and soul so that it
will be real music not just a scale. Feel that you are free and flying on the
wings of music!