One thing that makes a good song stand out from the rest is emotion in the vocals. If you want your song to shine, Sing it like you mean it. Put some emotion in your vocals. Try to avoid singing the entire song in one vocal level. Change it up. Try starting the song off with a softer vocal, then gradually build it up to the chorus. At the chorus try letting go.
Experiment. Try going up or down in pitch with your voice on different words. Try holding the end of different words in each vocal line, or try cutting them off short. Try different mixes of both on different words.
Try to substitute some emotional type words or phrases like crying, dying, lying, hurting, yearning, killing, missing you, wanting you, loving you, seeing you. Then emphasize those words. Try holding the note in the middle of the word. Cry-yyyyyy-ing. Raise the pitch of your voice in the middle of a word like crying, to a border line whine like you are crying while you sing it. Try going overboard, over the edge. Don't hold back. Push it way too far, then record it and listen to it.
Too many times as artists we feel uncomfortable even embarrassed when we push the vocals too far. If you take a look at many of the top hit songs over the years, you will find a lot of them had odd, even goofy sounding parts in the vocals. Many times that goofy part is what sticks in the listeners minds.
Have you ever seen a friend or someone singing along to a song being played, and then when they get to the goofy part, they really emphasize it as though they were waiting just to sing that word or part? Their face lights up, it seems to lift their spirits, to arouse an emotional reaction in them. You will never see someone emphasize a word in the center of a verse that is the same volume or pitch as everything else.
Sometimes it is good to go over the edge of your comfort level, to get your song to stand out from the rest in people's minds. You will be considered to be a better singer for it.
Try listening to some of your favourite songs and pay close attention to how they end each verse. Do they go down in pitch at the end of the first and third verse, and up in pitch at the end of the second and fourth verse? Are the first, second and fourth verses the same, and every third verse changes? Does every verse have a little different twist at the end or near the end of it? Are the first two verses sung the same, and the last two sung harder and or higher? These are all techniques used on many hit songs and top album songs, by top singers over the years.
Now listen to your song again. Is it changing or is it pretty well all the same? Try varying it to some of the different ways, or all of the different ways listed above. See what fits. Try putting a new spin of your own on it. There is no reason in the world that you, YES YOU, could set a new trend in vocal delivery. One that others will follow and talk about many years from now. Always remember the golden rule in singing vocals on a recording. SING IT LIKE YOU MEAN IT !
About the author
Art Rock, a music industry veteran, has been involved in all aspects of the Music Business for over three decades. You can find lots of free informative articles on Songwriting and Recording, by Art Rock and his colleagues at his home site http://www.mycd.ca/songwriting.htm