Album Challenge: Post 22 Picking a Key Again

Here’s the first attempt at this song entitled “Shaky Terrier: Mr Fritzy Kibbleton”. It’s way rough and I bet barely recognizable from the final version.

It’s great when you don’t take your own advice and then end up doing extra work. A while back I talked about choosing the right key for a song early on. I generally pick a key where my voice fits the song. If it’s a high energy song I might put my voice near the top of it’s range. If it’s a chill song maybe more toward the middle. What I generally don’t like is singing most of the song in a strained place.

I think it’s worth spending some time figuring this out because the final vocal usually comes after all the other tonal instruments. you don’t want to re-track all the guitars, the bass, and keys just because you decided your voice sounds better down 3 half steps.

Ooops. And that’s what I just did.

I think a good exercise for picking a key is to sing the whole song out loud a few times. Intuitively you may start where your voice works best. I just did that and came up with the key of #G on this one. If you don’t have success with that try using a piano and starting on different notes. Eventually you’ll find a starting place that makes the whole song sound good.

It’s also been helpful for me to wait a few days after I’ve rehearsed a song. It’s hard for your voice to open up and be relaxed when you aren’t totally familiar with the timing and rhythm. After a few days of practice you may find you are comfortable up a few half steps (if you want to go there).


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