Creating a Music Mashup
What a music mashup is and how it can help with songwriting
A music mashup is a blend of two or more different tracks into one. You can change a lot of different parts within the songs to make a mashup including the vocal lines, melodies, rhythms and time signature. Creating a music mashup can really help you see the way songwriters structure their songwriting and help with your own songwriting.
Music mashup options
It really does open up a plethora of possibilities as a musician and shows originality. You can also consider mashing together your own song with a cover. Read on to discover some hints and tips on how to create a music mashup.
If you haven’t quite built up the confidence to write and perform your own songs then a music mashup is a great way to improve your songwriting but at the same time not risk an untested new song. Remember you are only as good as your song choice.
Choosing songs for your music mashup
The first step in making a music mashup to find a track to base it on or a genre if you’re unsure of the song. It’s best to stick to mainstream or well-known tracks because a music mashup can be lost on the audience if they don’t recognise the musical sections individually. After you have decided upon your first song, figure out what works with it. This is the hard part because songs aren’t generally built to match each other however by analysing the chords used or vocal melodies it is made easier. Listen to your music collection for added inspiration for your music mashup.
Creating a music mashup
Generally, you will need to select songs that are written in the same key otherwise risk them feeling like they are just bolted on. A music mashup is the one that blends and flows almost seamlessly, hopefully leaving people with the impression it was clever and original of the performer.
A music mashup can involve plenty of different structural elements. For example, you can lay vocal melodies of one song over the rhythm of another, introduce riffs from different songs and continue to layer it up. The following structure would work with two songs that use the same four chords.
A music mashup is all about trial and error. They are not easy to write so don’t get disheartened if it doesn’t work out the first time. It’s a great way to improve your playing, improvisation and ear. After all, it should be fun so try and test them out at some Open Mic nights, for example, film it, ask for feedback and analyse.
How mashup songs are made
Now you know what a mashup song is, let’s start getting into how you can start making your own. It is a simple process, however, it’s important to think carefully about what songs to combine.
When you start creating a mashup, look for songs where you think the vocals are better than background instrumental, or the instrumental is much better than the vocals.
Not all vocals and music will go together. For example, a heavy metal singer’s vocal track won’t exactly mix well with a classical Beethoven piece, although, you never know, it’s important to get creative!
A mashup completely reinvents and breathes new life into older songs. This creates something completely new that audiences recognise but are still surprised by.
Make mashup songs online
If you are looking to create your own mashups to perform, it is a good idea to use a great website, making the process easy and pain-free!
For those of you that want to save some pennies, there are plenty of free ways to create fantastic mashups.
Most of us used Audacity when we were in school, however, it’s more than just putting funny voices over pre-installed tracks. Audacity is a great easy-to-use platform for your mashup creations, it’s free too which is a great bonus!
LoopLabs is another fantastic way to make music online. It’s free and can be used anytime, anywhere. You can even search what other people have created, serving as a one-stop place to get inspired and create your own.
If you are familiar with YouTube, which, let’s be honest, who isn’t? Then YouTube DJ might just be THE place for you to create your mashup masterpieces. It’s a free online music mixer app that allows you to make mashups of YouTube music videos.
You can merge songs together to create your dream combo and even invite friends to collaborate with you, a creative way to embark on your mashup journey.
What defines a mashup song?
Let’s go into some more detail as to what defines a mashup song. The difference between a mashup song and a remix often confuses people, meaning that they can be labelled as the same thing which leads to strange combinations of tracks.
As you now know, a mashup song combines the vocals and the backing track of two or more different songs. However, a remix adds, removes or repeats sections of the same song to make it sound different from the original. Therefore, a mashup combines songs but doesn’t alter them in any way, whereas, a remix changes the original song itself.
A mashup can contain more than just two songs. Note how the songs are not remixed or altered, simply put in different parts of the mashup to make one cohesive song.
These multiple song mashups are a fantastic way to showcase your vocal range and demonstrates how you are not limited to one genre of music. Mashups also inject personality into your performance, which is vital when building your personal brand.