Writing In The Right Key For My Voice

A short post today geared more towards the musicians/singers amongst you (which I’m hoping is a fair few!).

With the final, FINAL session working on my first EP coming up next week, I am looking to the future and the next batch of songs. When performing live over the past year I have noticed that my own songs are much, much harder to sing than the covers I perform – I am constantly straining my voice to hit the higher notes and the performances are never as good. I’ve started to realise that for years I have been writing in arbitrary keys just for the sake of attempted variety.

For instance, my song Carousel has the capo at fret 3 and is in the key of G Minor. Now this works fine for this particular song – but when I first wrote it it was in G# Minor (A Flat Minor?) and was much tougher to perform. Time To Leave was also capo’d at 3 but was in E Minor and is a real strain on my voice. When the EP is released you will hear the E Minor version – its not optimal. At my Mr. Wolf’s gig I experimented with moving the capo down to fret 2 and the difference in ease of singing was huge.

From now on I am going to experiment with finding the correct key while songwriting. I have already had to tune down a semitone for one of my brand new, unheard songs as I wrote a melody that I love but is far too high to sing. Its all a learning process, and hopefully people will start to hear a noticeable improvement to my performances. Fingers crossed!

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