by Deb Rabbai
You know when you’re listening to a song that you know pretty well and there’s that one part - like a cowbell in the background or a little guitar lick or bell - that happens in the song and you cannot wait for it to happen again in the song?
That’s some delicious ear candy!
Creating Ear Candy in Your Improv Songs
When you first hear it, it’s surprising or catches your ear like a hook in a fish’s mouth and then you spend a lot of the song being excited about when it’s going to happen again.
When you’re improvising a song and creating the melody you can make that ear candy happen there too.
When you’re improvising the melody of your song, if you make a strong choice in the moment musically, that strong musical choice can become the ear candy of your song. It may be a little three note lilt in the melody that comes back repeatedly in the verses. It may be a one octave leap from a low note to a high note that you do at the beginning of the chorus. The point is that you, the improviser, are in control of creating such a thing in your song if you stay open to what the music is offering you and make your melodic choice a musical one rather than a clever verbal one.
Create Ear Candy as Support in a Song
Another place to add some ear candy is in the background vocals. If you’re lucky enough to have some amazing other improvisers who are singing with you, they may hear the opportunity for a little melodic accent in between whatever you are singing that adds a little flavor to the song without trampling over what you’re singing.
So go and experiment with creating a little ear candy in your melodies! Trust me, it’s fun, your ears will enjoy it and best of all it’s zero calories!