Creating an acoustic version of existing songs can be a great way to diversify your artistic profile. It is a way of demonstrating new musical shades and can be a solid strategic measure.
In its core – it should also be a highly creative and fun endeavor. Different rules apply, and you can stretch the format any way you like.
We sat down and generated a little checklist of things that might inspire you. Things that can initiate your acoustic version, maybe push it into new realms.
Make sure to let us know if you incorporated any of these ideas into a given acoustic release. As always – we’d love to hear it.
So let’s start with arrangement:
With a reduced interpretation, every component matters.
Be sure to introduce strictly vital components, and be sure to try out different variations. You might want to drop a harmonic instrument for a rhythmic, to make the sound more elusive and interesting.
Related to the last point is the necessity of a combinatory mindset. Every acoustic version has a multitude of instrumental combinations in the air. You’ll just have to try several, because new rules apply in these stripped down versions.
Try going for things you haven’t tried before or might seem weird in a normal production. They can create a very unique sound-sphere.
The great thing about acoustic sets is the freedom of form. You can break norms in terms of arrangement, instrumentation. And you probably even should. The way you break the norms defines your creative individuality, it’s a communicative measure.
Make breaking the norms part of your strategy.
Develop musical autonomy
The acoustic or reduced version can stand for itself. Aim for musical autonomy, apart from full- production versions that are attached to it.
Try to view this acoustic version as genuinely new, maybe even as a new kind of song. This will help you break from any blueprint the production might dictate.
Record multiple versions and feedback them with your team. This means try out different arrangements and soundscapes, and get feedback from people you trust.
They might surprise you with ideas you wouldn’t have expected, or shed light on details that you overlooked.
Embrace the space
Space is such a powerful tool. Embrace it and see how far you can push a level of emptiness. Obviously, this depends on your context and on the song.
Leaving space can demonstrate boldness, because the few elements that remain have to shine and be well developed.
Try to see how far you can push it.
Mystify the context
Great acoustic versions are like an unexpected ride. You think the song is going into a certain direction, then you get swooped up and surprised.
Try to utilize a certain unpredictability. Don’t explain everything but rather sketch out. If you mystify the context, things like melody are prone to stay exciting and unusual.
Fun and more fun
Acoustic versions can be tense and intellectual.
Remember to keep the process fun. This lightheartedness will be reflected within the final product, and your audience will appreciate it.
Even if something gains deeper shades, the road to perfection can stay full of dynamic, fun instances.