"Raffi is My Dad" by Raffi

Editor’s note: This week’s blog post comes to you courtesy of Helena, Songwriting Master Teacher at YPI.

Listening to the pros can often be invaluable, especially if you’re trying to step a little bit out of your comfort zone. In the same way that writers need to spend a lot of time reading in order to hone their craft, songwriters need to spend a lot of time listening. For Raffi’s song, she did just that.

The end features a little bit of “riffing:” the band vamps the same progression over and over while Raffi makes up some fun vocal stuff. But in order to make up those parts on the spot, she had to have an arsenal of good choices in her pocket. She listened to some of the motown and funk greats for ideas, and when it came time to lay down her vocal track she nailed it! And she didn’t even have to do 42 takes this time.

Never underestimate the power of listening.

(And yes, Raffi was one of the campers who refused to title her song, so I titled it for her.)

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