Instructions

how to order a custom song


READ CAREFULLY ALL THE WAY TO THE BOTTOM !

You must specify the following:

    Song:
You can choose any song you want, as long as you have (or can get) a recording (preferably MP3) of the original song (or any recorded version of it) and send it to us, so we can listen to it before we start recording.
Your $ 50,- recording fee includes ONLY arrangements that don't have more than ONE STOP (or break) every 8 bars!!!
If you want a complicated song with lots of stops / breaks / rhythm changes / sophisticated bass- or rhythm-guitar lines, you will have to PAY EXTRA ($ 10,- !!), as this is very time-consuming.

    Choosing the right song:
Of course you can choose any song you like and turn it into a singing call.
But please let me give you a word of well meant advice to save you any disappointments when you get your finished song from us:
I can't remember how often I got the request for a song with the words "...and please make it sound like the original....."
As much as I want to give you exactly what you want, here's the catch:
Mostly people who make this request want the same instruments, played in the same way, maybe the same arrangement of melody and background sound, etc, etc...
Ok - no problem with that.
But usually they forget the most important parameter that is responsible for the "feeling" a song produces in the listener and thus generates like or dislike:
The TEMPO of the ORIGINAL song !!!
If the ORIGINAL song has approximately the same tempo as the singing call you want to have (124 to 132 bpm), it will work.
But if you select a song that is in a tempo range of 80 to 100 bpm, or 160 to 200 bpm, it will NEVER SOUND THE SAME like the original. No way. You just can't recreate the same feeling that makes you like the original in the first place, if there is such difference in tempo.
I am always very sad if I warn a customer who requests a song like that, and against my warnings he nevertheless gives me the go ahead to do the song "exactly like the original", and I have to record a song that sounds really really bad at the singing call tempo (for ME, being a musician - the customer is happy, because he got what he wanted.....)
So, if you really want a song that is much faster or slower than the usual singing call tempo, please dont ask for it to "sound like the original".....
Let's turn it into something new instead.

    Tempo:
Usually between 124 and 132 bpm
BEWARE: Even if you specify the correct tempo, you might still get a song that seems either much too slow or much too fast for you if you don't also specify whether you count DOUBLETIME or HALFTIME !!!
Detailed and complicated explanation:
Here's an example what this means: Take the song "There's a star spangled banner waving somewhere", first verse:
There's a star spangled banner waving somewhere,
In a distant land so many miles away.
If you just say you want the tempo at 124 bpm, there are still TWO WAYS to count the beats. Now try to imagine dancing to this song:
If you count your STEPS and find out that you put your feet on the floor ONLY on the following words (or syllables)at your regular dancing speed:
"STAR"(1st step), "BAN-"(2nd step), "SOME-"(3rd step), (the 4th step would be in the pause after "-WHERE")
"DIS-"(5th step), "MA-"(6th step), "-WAY" (the 7th and 8th step would be in the pause after "-WAY")
you will have made only 8 STEPS covering the first AND second line, and if we record it this way, this song will sound unusually fast. Nevertheless - the song is 124 bpm !!!
Now imagine putting your feet down at these words or syllables (still at your regular dancing speed):
"STAR"(1st step), "SPAN-"(2nd step), "BAN-"(3rd step), "WAV-"(4th step), "SOME-"(5th step), "-WHERE"(6th step),the 7th step in the pause after "-WHERE" ,
"IN"(8th step), "DIS-"(9th step), "LAND"(10th step), "MA-"(11th step), "MILES"(12th step), "-WAY"(13th step) (steps 14, 15 and 16 are in the pause after "-WAY")
This way you will have made 16 STEPS in the same 2 lines. As you make your STEPS at the SAME DANCING SPEED as above, it takes TWICE AS LONG (16 = 2x8) in REAL TIME for the same part of the song, so the song will appear TWICE AS SLOW !!! (In this case it would sound like a slow western swing song.) And the strange thing is - IT IS STILL 124 bpm !!!
Quick and easy explanation:
HALFTIME: You get just the VERSE for the whole Opener (or figure etc) - this will SOUND SLOW
DOUBLETIME: You get the verse AND THE CHORUS for the whole Opener (or figure...) - this will SOUND twice as FAST )because there will be MORE music in the same REAL TIME

    Key:
This is the MOST IMPORTANT information!
Don't ever say you don't care, because it's YOU who has to sing in this key.
And if you find out AFTER we recorded the song that you can't sing in this key, you're going to have to PAY EXTRA, as we have to record the whole song anew!!!

    Instruments:
The following are included in you $ 50,- :
    Rhythm section (drums/bass/guitar)
    3 solo instruments
You must PAY EXTRA for each instrument that you want in addition to that!
The fee is $10,- per additional instrument (with some exceptions that require more time or effort to record).

ALL THESE INSTRUMENTS ARE PLAYED BY REAL MUSICIANS! (NO midi sounds!!!)
The instruments to choose from are:
    acoustic guitar
    electric guitar
    pedalsteelguitar
    dobro
    piano
    accordion
    harmonica ("harp")
    fiddle
    mandolin
    banjo

    THE FOLLOWING INSTRUMENTS ARE SAMPLED INSTRUMENTS (played on a keyboard and not on the real instrument itself)
    but the quality is so good that we guarantee you will think they are real !!!

    saxophone
    trumpet
    brass
    flutes
    vibraphone
    strings
    and thousands more...

    Of course you can also have lead or harmony vocals (male and female)

    Arrangement:
BE CAREFUL! For most customers this is the most confusing item.

You have to differenciate between the following:
    On the one hand, there's the ORIGINAL SONG with its divisions into (for example):
      intro
      verse
      chorus
      bridge (sometimes a song has a part that corresponds neither to verse or chorus in length and/or chord sequence, this is called a "bridge", then)
      solo (various instrumental parts)
      turnarounds (very short instrumental parts, usually before a new verse)
      tag (usually a repetition of the last line)
      outro (something like the intro, only at the end of the song)

    On the other hand there are the parts that make up a SQUAREDANCE SINGING CALL. In a regular arrangement they are:
      intro
      Opener
      Figure Heads 1
      Figure Heads 2
      Middle Break
      Figure Sides 1
      Figure Sides 2
      Closer
      tag/outro
It is your task now to assign the parts of the original songs to the parts of the squaredance song !!!
And here is the reason why this is sometimes difficult:
A squaredance song has a rather rigid structure (which, of course you don't have to follow, but most callers prefer it:
By many callers this structure is called a 7/32 structure, meaning that there are 7 parts of equal length. (Intro and tag/outro are NOT counted.)
Contrary to the misleading name 7/32, no musician will find anything countable that is "32" in these parts! In musical reality, each of these 7 parts consists of 16 BARS and each bar consists of 4 BEATS, so each of the 7 parts consists of 64 BEATS !!!!!
And a "beat" is exactly what your dancers will put down their feet to! In other words - every time you put down a foot (IF you dance exactly to the rhythm!!!!!), you can count ONE BEAT. (As mentioned above: There are still 2 different ways of defining a BEAT)
Older songs tended to have a regular structure, too, but if you want us to record a more modern song, you will have to count very carefully, as most of these song have a very irregular structure!
And unless you want the structure of the squaredance-song to be irregular, too, (which is possible, of course, but you'll have to write special choreography, then !!) you (we) have to leave out a bar here or add a bar there.
Get the idea?
Have fun counting, but don't get it wrong! Remember - we record what YOU tell us.
If you haven't done your "homework" before ordering, and we record it "wrong", you PAY EXTRA for any changes to be made afterwards!

    Order:
Have you read the instructions REALLY CAREFULLY ?
Then you're ready to order.
Send us an email to

with the instructions and an MP3 of the original song, and we'll tell you the final price.

If you don't want to wait that long, just go to our Custom Song Calculator page and find out yourself!
If you`ve kept it plain and easy, you have won a $50,- custom song and won't have to pay extra!


To go back to the page you've come from, hit your browser's BACK button.

To see the other pages of Aaron's Audio Alternatives, click on the arrow on the left side.