It generally takes me about 4 hours to do a lead vocal. That gives me time to work my way through every line and get it stylistically the way I want it. Then I go through and get the singing performance as good as I can. I usually go through one big section at a time (a verse, for instance) until I get it close and then zero in on each individual line (sometimes even focusing on just part of a line).
Often, the next day I come back and find additional things I can improve.
In this case, I was re-working the lyrics too as well as figuring out background vocals. I’ve been thinking the harmonies in the pre-chorus (the part that goes, “Can’t you see… Every line of poetry…”) should be lower than the lead vocal. Then when I hit the chorus, the harmony (or harmonies) could go up above the lead vocal. That would give the chorus some additional oomph. We’ll see how that works out next time.
I’ll listen over the next couple of days and see what I think about what I’ve done with the vocals. Here’s the current version.
PS: Pretty rad space mural, don’t you think?
PPS: I’m 18 hours into the song now.
This article is part of a series about my songwriting process in writing a song called “Every Love Song.” Read the whole series here.