About cadence

Inspired by a podcast book I’ve listened to recently, I wondered what my book would sound like if I ever recorded it.

I was playing around, not really sure if there’s a point to why or a future application, but I created a music track in Garage Band (out of bits and pieces) and then narrated a couple of paragraphs of my first chapter and I noticed something very interesting.

You see, I tried to record the same bit earlier just as a voice recording and the result was a bit messy. I would talk too fast, trip over my words and start pronouncing even worse than I already do (can’t escape that accent).

But this time, I had that music track playing in the background while I narrated. Without planning to, I was automatically matching my speech’s speed to the music and found that it was indeed possible to stay in beat.
The instinctual desire to stay on beat affected my pauses, as in, they were shorter, but words, vowels were longer, more accentuated.

When listening back, it’s clear that I didn’t rush through it, didn’t stumble or mumble. But most of all, there’s a cadence to my speech as if I was reciting poetry.

And I can’t help but wonder, was there always a cadence in my writing? I’d love it if there was, but I’m not sure if it’s that simple.

I’m not sure yet what all of this means, it’s a bit too late in the night for deep thinking. But I think if I ever recorded something, I would definitely do this again - background music to help me relax and not rush, and maybe accidentally add a cadence.


Those of use inclined to music do have a tendency to write to a cadence, sometimes…

But in truth, you make cadence without the words fitting because that’s patterning and how we formed words in the first place.


I listen to certain types of music at times to write differing moment within my tales.

I listened to Mick Gordon’s BFG Division (Doom 2016 soundtrack) for a fight scene in a Tavern. It worked well as it has a slightly long intro with a sudden blast of the main riff and tempo. It was what I was seeing with my fight. It was a slow build to a frantic fight which all ended within a few seconds. That opening and first ramp up music fitted well with my part in the tavern.

I guess we have a tempo with writing, maybe a cadence as such. I’d even go so far as to sat a full soundtrack at times.

But when reading it out aloud, we find another timing… You just need to relax as you read it aloud… If music helps, then you have found a new direction to an audio podcast for your work. And I wish you well with it.



Its sometimes difficult to be a good “out loud” reader. A lot of people ignore punctuation breaks when reading aloud and often go too fast, or sometimes go too slow, especially if they haven’t read over the text first.

When I was thinking about voice acting or doing an audiobook, it was one of the things mentioned there, that pacing yourself and rhythming out words is really important.

It makes sense that music would help, as its often easy to follow along with, and probably helps with some of the immersion that goes with reading aloud


Some narrators make it sound so easy, but in practice it definitely isn’t.

Another thing that I would have to practice if I were to create an audiobook is inflection and intonation. It really does make a difference.

When comparing well narrated books vs badly narrated ones, there’s a clear balance. You don’t want to sound monotone. You want to adjust the tone to the scene and moment but you also don’t want to overdo it. You want to make the dialogue distinct from narration but again, not overdo it.

I listened to one book where each dialogue line felt like it had an exclamation mark. :sweat_smile: Good one to put on the “avoid” pile.


This is fixed by having a tune that you sing to prose, just to force pacing.

Which I can’t produce right this second because my roommate is up nattering st my kids and me.

Sometimes I wish I had a ball gag. Boy is now shrieking.

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So, as soon as I put my baby down to rest, I stepped out to the car and made 3 quick recordings for demonstration purposes:

Weather change drops my voice a couple pitches, I’m not opening my mouth as well as I should, but my rhythm isn’t 100% crap because I am trained: still, a bit more mumblerap than necessary, and definitely flat because I’m talking out of nowhere.

Then comes a mashup of two tunes that is somewhere in the back of my mind, just sing-songing my way through this paragraph. I was trying not to crack up because it always sounds dumb when you first try it.

Now, this is no longer a blind read. It’s my 3rd time through. That’s still not enough prep for professional grade reading and DEFINATELY not enough to prevent stumbling in a natural stutterer who is trying to rush to get back inside.

But look: the voice is higher, warmer, looser, the cadence flows a little more naturally:

And…as soon as I get in the roommate is bugging me about why I wasn’t inside the house and out to tell me more information about people I don’t know. So glad I recorded outside in the car because she has no chill. Lmao

Especially for someone who doesn’t come out her room but for a few minutes a day, just has a habit of choosing the one moment I wish she wouldn’t. Oy.

The paragraph is from my short story called Nerd (just 3 sentences) from Human Males/Were Females: Case Study Synopsis.


:laughing: I applaud your bravery.
Is this like a legit way of prepping for a reading?

I think you’re spot on about opening the mouth and about rehearsing. It makes sense.

I’ve done it since I’ve had to prepare recitation for highschool, so it’s worked for me for over 20 years. I always do worse when I don’t do it.

Gotta remember, I’m a stutterer if I get too flustered.

But audio? I’ve been on stage singing since my early teens with active stage fright: a recording is a ton easier than getting up on the stage.

But this will give you an idea of some of the thoughts behind effectiveness…

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Huh, I didn’t consider that but you make a solid case!

Ya know, this would’ve been great to learn earlier. I used to record myself reading passages of my story, so later on I could listen to myself go over it and make notes on another paper of what to change. Through that I ended up learning how to space out sentences, flow, and make the narration actually good to listen to–which really helped with editing.

Honestly, i have more to work on. Iirc, you did voice acting (or maybe singing?) lessons at one point, right? This is a fantastic tip.

Edit: so sorry about misspellings, i am on mobile and keep fat finguring ahhh


That was brilliant!

Singing lessons because it’s hard to notice that you’re not dropping your jaw enough, and higher pitches has to modify the vowel shape to maintain the vowel sound. I was a voice major, but dropped out because crossing the ADHD with the stage fright caused me to drop presentation quite often, making it look like I practiced even less than I did.

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The best part is you can tell there’s about 3 words that trip me up in that paragraph, one of them a noticeable pause before tackling, before and after. I still didn’t lose my tongue, in spite of the struggle.

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