Which songs should you record?
You’re in a band and you are thinking of recording your first E.P. How do you chose which songs are going to make the cut?
First you need to decide why you are recording. Is it a recording to get gigs? Is it to sale to fans? Is it a recording to document your songs? If it’s the last one. Then there’s not much to think about. Book the studio and get recording.
If it’s a demo to get gigs then you want to think about the sort of places you are wanting to play. A pub will want to hear that the songs you play sound like the songs you are trying to cover. Though, they don’t have to be 100% perfect copys. I wouldn’t recommend putting your own spin on the songs unless you have a following for doing this. Even if it’s something you might want to do in the future it may be tough to get pub gigs as normally they just expect to have songs they recognise so drunk people can sing along. A lot of popular pub bands play cover songs that are current chart hits while others will mix up songs from the 50s up to present day and still go down well. It’s best to stick to upbeat songs that will get the crowd dancing and singing along.
If you are aiming to play weddings or corporate gigs then the recording needs to be really polished. Everyone in the band needs to play to a high standard and you should definitely consider working on your vocal harmonies. These sort of bands seem to do best when they focus on one style to a high standard. The tracks that you choose should again be upbeat as you want to make sure the whole evening is fun for everyone involved.
If you are in an original band then things get a bit tricky. You want the E.P to be a good representation of the band but also a good collection of songs that work together as one piece of work. I also suggest starting and ending with really strong songs. Though obviously all 4 songs should be the best you have to offer. Having a slower track as the third track tends to work well. Though, if your style is down tempo then maybe change things up by having the third song a quicker paced one would work well. The key is having a variety of songs so the listener wants to keep going to the next track but also have something running between the songs so they don’t sound like 4 different bands.
I hope this has given you something to think about. If you want advice on what songs to record feel free to leave a comment or drop me an email at Kyle@ChickenShedStudio.co.uk and I’ll do my best to help out.
Good luck with any upcoming recording.