Jingle All The Way to Manhattan (Part 2)
Please click here to check out Part 1 of this blog entry!
The process of jingle-writing is of course very similar to songwriting...you come up with a tune or melody (that's hopefully catchy!) and you also come up with lyrics for that melody. However, there are a few other aspects that one needs to consider when writing jingles. First of all, you're writing a short song, on behalf of someone else, so you have to "become" that someone else in order to know what to write. OK, I know this sounds like some Jedi-level mumbo-jumbo, but it really makes sense. Basically, you just have to be able to see, or in this case, hear the jingle from the client's point of view, what the client wants to tell the public, through the jingle. You also need to understand the image of the client. Almost all the time, when I am working with a client on a jingle or music for an ad, the client usually tells me, the feeling or message they want to share with the public, so it makes understanding what the client needs easier. In this case, since it was a jingle competition, I didn't have the luxury of meeting the folks at The Manhattan Fish Market to find out what they would like to tell the public about their brand, though the jingle. So in essence, before I even started writing the jingle, I had to make an educated guess as to how a jingle would best serve the brand.
The Process of Writing a Jingle for The Manhattan Fish Market
Before I even started placing my fingers on the keys, I had a quick brainstorm on the general image of the restaurant chain. From the name. I kind of surmised that they want the image of New York and the idea of "The Big Apple" to be connected with them. So I started thinking about music that was associated with the whole "New York" state of mind . Adding to that thought, the fact that the jingle should sound upbeat, and happy, led me to an old-style big band sound reminiscent of the old Frank Sinatra classics, and more recently, the big band sound of Michael Buble. Specifically, the song, "New York, New York" came to mind. This really gave me the direction to proceed, in terms of the instrumentation of the jingle; something that evoked the good feelings of the classic big band sound. With this, I was able to move on to the actual process of the composition.
This is the time when I sit in front of my keyboard and fool around with some chords and try to sing out a melody. Usually when writing a jingle with lyrics, it helps to actually sing out the lyrics (even when there aren't any lyrics yet). The lyrics can be total gibberish at first, but the gibberish helps me hear what the tune will sound like with words incorporated in them. I then adjust the lyrics to reflect what I think The Manhattan Fish Market would like to say to the public. In this case, I thought that describing some of the main items on their menu should be included, so I added some of those dishes into the lyrics, and adjusted as I went along.
The lyrics finally shaped up with the tune to where I was pretty happy with it in about 2 hours. Then came the instrumentation of the song, which took the rest of the day to lay down. I then recorded myself singing the jingle, sang in the harmonies (always good to have nice harmonies in jingles...that's my opinion anyway) and then mixed the whole song the next day. Once that was done, I sent the song to the folks at The Manhattan Fish Market via email, along with my name and phone number.
Please click here to check out Part 3 of this blog entry!