It’s not easy, let me tell you, but I’ve been starting to get really intrigued by A Cappella. It all started when I discovered a band called Moon Safari. Their delivery in the midst of prog rock songs is just pure magic. So, I’ve been trying to match some of their vocals as the music plays on for hours and day in day out all year long. It’s not easy, but it’s fun as hell!
Now I’ve actually started to record some of my own little A Cappella pieces as the 50/90 has started. I can’t say I’m that good in it, but if you’re thinking of starting some A Cappella pieces of your own, just give this a listen and you might notice that people really struggle with it at the beginning. There are a few problems when doing A Cappella. The biggest one is trying to stay in tune because nothing really prepares you for it. For years I’ve thought that I sing all the notes in perfect tuning but now I’m noticing it’s not the case. It’s not even about vocal control but rather that I just hear the notes wrong. When I sing a D# in my mind I hear the note going higher than what it actually should be. And when I sing the note with a tuner on, it just sounds flat to me. But that’s what you need to do. Sing notes over other notes and try to get them to match. Oh, you’ll hear when they match. I mean when they REALLY match!
Another big problem is the timbre of the voice. You need some good resonance in the voice to really fill the space on the track. Instead of doing really clean and strong lead vocals, you need to do really soft and full vocals, almost like some sort of organ or pad. When I do them, soon I’ll forget and start singing like I usually do. Then I hear what I recorded and go: “Oh, right”, and start again. You’ll hear all these problems in the track, but I can already hear myself improving. When you know where to look, you just practice and improve.
Next Friday is the day when this weird challenge kicks off again. 50/90, or fifty songs in ninety days, is a hectic march to a very much unfinished and lazily thrown together bunch of demos. Last year was the first time I made it to fifty, but I’m gonna do it again! Check out the site. The community there is excellent!
This year I’m only going to make skirmishes, which means songs that are made from start to finish in 60 minutes. I’ve successfully done a bunch of them previously and even liked many of them. Let’s see how it goes this time. Out of fifty there’s bound to be even few cool ones mixed in there.
I just made a song by accident. I was doodling around with my guitar and came up with the starting riff and then said to myself: “Come on, you gotta record that for your riff collection.” Before I knew it, I had recorded the whole song. See if you like it.