Tuesday, September 22


Quality Song Checklist
by Toya Elise


Before submitting your music to I dO MUSIC, an A&R, or anyone you want to listen to, like and respect your music, take the time to dissect your song and determine the level of quality of work you are putting out. Get opinions from other people. Do NOT submit your music first without having at least 10 other people tell you their HONEST opinion of your work. The more you check off the better. Otherwise we may just tell you to keep your day job

Production/Beat Is your production on point?! Good production/beat, is the most essential quality of a good song. It is the first thing noticed about a song and though it may be a bit superficial, it’s a really the #1 deal breaker! I like to compare it to the courting/dating game. In the courting/dating game, the first thing you notice about someone is their looks (beat). No matter how superficial it is, it’s inevitable. In RARE cases will you judge someone’s personality (lyrics/content) before you judge their looks (beat). But once you get to know that person or listen/date that person two or three times, then you can become interested in getting to know that person for their other qualities: their intelligence (lyrics), their conversation (content), their personality (hook), etc. But trust, I will not likely even get that far, if I can’t stand the production.

Chorus/Hook Is your chorus/hook catchy? Some people say that a hook can make or break a song. I agree. A great hook can make a decent song seem great and a horrible hook/chorus can make me never want to listen to a good song past the first verse. The hook is called hook for a reason. It’s what hooks the listener and gets them listening to and singing to the song over and over again. But be aware, that a hook/chorus is not always necessary. So make sure you are not adding a hook or chorus that is not needed. Sometimes a good instrumental break works wonders!

Lyrics Are you a Wizard of “Awes” with Words? Do your lyrics make the listener say “Awe, that was hot!”. I tend to judge lyrics in two categories. Creativity and/or Thought provoking. Take Tupac and Biggie for example.. Both good lyricists, but on two different levels. Biggie was a creative lyricist, and Tupac was thought provoking truth speaker. But both were hot. Make sure that your lyrics are not cliché and be creative!

Content Are you talking about anything the people want to hear? Are you talking about money, cars, clothes and hoes? Or are you talking about uplifting your people? Are you talking about a recent heartbreak? Or the love of your life? Content is very important because it is what makes your audience relate to what you are saying. Sometimes the listener will still like a song even though they may not be able to relate, but trust me, they will like it even ten times better if they CAN relate, so take the time to take your content into some serious consideration!

Vocals Can you sing? If you are a singer, then your vocal game NEEDS to be on point. I can’t stand hearing a song where the person just cannot sing! If you cannot sing, but are submitting a song for reference, then please mention that you are a songwriter, and songwriting is your talent, not singing. Otherwise your true talent will get overlooked. There are rare circumstances where an artist can get away with not sounding perfect vocally, but that is RARE. So your best bet is to get some vocal training, and get you’re A-game up in this category!

Vocal Arrangement/Flow Do your vocals/flow work with the melody of the production beat? Sometimes it is hard to change up the arrangement of a song once you have already come up with it, But good flow is what distinguishes an amateur artist from a veteran. Rappers, make sure your flow compliments the flow of the beat. And for singers, try your hardest to come up with at least 2 or 3 different vocal arrangements and see which one works best, before settling on the first that comes to mind.

Musicality Is there any live instrumentation or instrumentation feel? Though this is not absolutely necessary, however this is absolutely a nice bonus to hear a song that is not strictly fruity-looped. Even sampling a live instrument sound is refreshing if you do not know how to play an instrument. this can make a basic beat seem ten times better.


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