First-Time Arranging Suggestions, Part Deux

As far as first-time arranging tips, I’d advise against taking the basses too low.  Even if they have a solid low E, the chords will ring better with the basses up the octave, and they’ll sing better, too!  The same goes for the low F and frequently the low G as well.

If you’re stuck for ideas (esp. in the verse), you could always add some sort of lyrical echo.  There are these long pauses between each short phrase the solo has, so I would probably experiment with little counter-melodies repeating the lyrics the soloist just sang. (I would probably wait to use this kind of effect until the 2nd or 3rd verse)

I also second Yuri’s suggestion of singing first.  If you write it first and then try to add vocal syllables, it will tend to sound sort of unnatural — Instead, try to sing something that feels/sounds natural to you, then write it down.

Don’t be afraid to shorten the introduction.

Consider cutting the instrumental interlude(s).  Guitar solos almost always come off as corny, which could ruin the mood of the song.  If you have someone who can do a mellow, authentic scat, that could work well.

Other than that, I’d suggest searching YouTube for any and all versions of the song that could give you ideas.  Live performances, acoustic versions, or a cappella arrangements.

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