How to Strip Down Songs for an Acoustic Set

If you have complex songs either written or recorded, then you may at some point have wondered if it would be possible to simplify them for an acoustic set. There are a variety of reasons to strip down and rework songs that can range from just sitting at home practicing, or playing a more low-key show to showcase your songs. Regardless of the reason, it is always good to have a grasp on the steps to take when simplifying songs. Here is how to strip down songs for an acoustic set.


With this question in mind, deciding which of your songs to strip down and rework for an acoustic set is one of the most important things in this process. This is because not all songs may work for an acoustic version. Take some time to look through your catalog and decide whether or not you have some songs that are able to be stripped down. This way, you will have a place to start. Additionally, try to have an end product in mind as you begin to simplify the songs you have chosen.


Now that you have some songs that you think are able to be stripped down for an acoustic set, it is time to begin the process. A great place to start for this step is to grab an acoustic guitar, or piano for that matter, and play through the songs. This will allow you to see which parts of the songs need to be reworked in order to fit the bill for an acoustic set. You might have to change the timing of chord changes or the phrasing of different melodies, but you will know it when you hear it.


Lastly, before you are able to play an acoustic set, it is critical to fine-tune all of the changes you have made to your songs. Does it feel rushed? Do your songs still convey their original meaning? These are all things to consider before taking the stage. After all, these are your songs and you should be proud to play them.

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