I ran into an issue this week that I feel is a great topic to talk about. Does the chord progression in the song take away from the vocal melody? I was working on this project for a singer and the bass guitar was playing the main chord progression. The progression was not wrong or out of key, but it was just as prominent as the lead vocal and was becoming distracting. It’s important to make sure the chords are the best progression and often times the simplest progression possible. I offered to change the bass guitar for the artist so I recorded new bass parts. It turned out way better and the vocal really became the focal point again while the bass took the backseat. This won’t just happen with bass. It may be guitar, or a really busy piano part that really distracts the listener from enjoying the vocal. I understand this is definitely just my opinion, some people love some busy and advanced instrumental elements. These people are often musicians. While that is totally okay, most of your listeners are not musicians and really like to connect with the vocal more than the instruments. One tip is to stick with intervals of 1, 4, 5, and 6 for your chord progression intervals. If you do a combination of those intervals you are bound to make a great chord progression that embraces the melody and doesn’t distract.