Now before I get started, don’t go getting all emotional if you feel that your songs may “suck” after reading this post. I’ve wrote and recorded many horrible songs in my day, and I wouldn’t be the musician I am today had I not persevered through those early days of not really knowing what I was doing. If any of these points hit home, take it as a learning experience rather than a put down. We all have room to improve, and our skills can only grow with increased knowledge and experience.
With that being said, here are nine reasons why your bands song may suck:
Your song doesn’t tell a story – A great song isn’t just great because of the way it sounds, a great song must connect with the listener on a personal level. Your song must tell a story that people can relate to, or they will lose interest quickly.
You settle for less than perfect – If you or anyone else recording says, “that’s good enough,” chances are that it is ok. Ok is great for some things, but when you want to blow your audience away with your recordings, “good enough” just isn’t going to do. Your goal is to get this song played thousands or even millions of times, so make sure that song is outstanding!
You don’t do any pre-production – For those of you who don’t know what pre-production is, here is a great explanation from Wikipedia. Not using pre-production can waste large amounts of time and money, resulting in less than stellar work done at the studio.
You go into the studio with an unfinished song – This usually comes from not doing any pre-production. Unless you own a studio, you are paying good money for your time so make sure you have everything finished, and you have practiced your ass off before you go in and record.
Your drummer and bassist aren’t in sync – If your bassist is playing a line that interferes with the rhythm of the drummer you are going to run into some problems. Your drummer and bassist should be paying more attention to each other than any other instrument in the band. Get this wrong, and I won’t listen to your song for anything, period.
Your instrument is out of tune – An out of tune instrument is horrible in any situation, but I don’t think anything could get worse than an out of tune instrument on your recording. If you are recording, it is a good idea to make it a habit of tuning after every take just to make sure everything is PERFECT.
Your song is not mixed properly – Just because you know how to play and record your music doesn’t mean you have a clue about how to mix your stuff. Get a professional audio engineer to work on your music. If you don’t get your songs mixed by someone who knows what they are doing your songs quality is going to hurt in the end, even if your tracks are outstanding.
Your singer can’t sing – This one is pretty obvious, but I had to say it. I’ve come across many songs in my day that weren’t bad at all, had there not been any vocals. A bad singer is just as bad as recording with an out of tune guitar.
Bad recording quality – Don’t get me wrong; bad recording quality is still ok for things like pre-production. But, if you are using a song for a demo or an album you need to make sure your recording is great quality. Over the years it has become a lot easier to build decent home recording studios, even on a tight budget. Easier access to quality home recordings means the standards for demo quality have gone up tenfold in the last few years.
Do you agree with what I have to say? Is there something that I missed in this post? Let me know in the comments section below!