“A song introduction, or an intro for short, is the first part of the song structure. It’s used to introduce and establish the song. The song intro gives an idea of the song’s style and genre while establishing the key and basic rhythm. Many song intros also include some kind of lyrics that can hint at the song’s themes and what kind of story it’s trying to tell.”
So why is this so important?
I know many people use the intro to get ready for a song. To finish their chat, get themselves set ready for the first line but I’d like very much to say that the introduction is much more important that this.
If we listen to the intro, we can understand the speed the piece is being played at (often why acapella pieces start with a 1 2 3 4 from the leader!) We get an understanding of the key of the piece – whether you’re musical or not, the notes we are about to sing are hidden amongst the key of the song. If I played the introduction to Goodbye Yellow Brick Road on the piano, you will come in on the right note because you’re used to hearing the start note in relation to that particular sequence of chords. If I change the key, you’ll still get the right start note because you will have used the intro to retune what you’re listening for. It’s essential for all of us to listen to the introduction.
If we take ‘Somewhere only we know’ and you’ve got the oohhhhs first, those notes you’re aiming for are in the intro. You need to tune in and hear where they are using your head voice (the one that you can hear but no-one else can) then you have the confidence to come in with clarity and certainty rather than a wobbly kind of guessing thing. Make sense?
Yes marvellous singers! This is why I’m going to start getting picky about silence during the intros so we can get ready…. I can get ready and bring you in on time and also, for our audience to get ready.