Recently at DK Music Academy, vocalist Sam Black recently made an acappella rendition of Stay With Me by Sam Smith.

Here is a simple ‘How To’ on how we built the vocal arrangement to this song.

By using jewellery, foot stomps and hand claps to make a percussion sounds, we then built the rest of the song vocally.

We use low bass notes to build up the lower frequencies of the piano chords and layer harmonies to create a full chord sound.

By using other vocal harmony parts for strings sections within the song, the track slowly builds.

This is a very gospel influenced song and so we needed to layer the vocal parts in the chorus. By using different vocal tones, we can create a choir from one vocal.

Finally add lead vocal and adlibs and you have a full sounding track for Stay With Me.

Any song can be built in a similar way if you can work out the instrumental parts section by section.

These are a few techniques we cover weekly at our singing lessons at DK Music Academy in Godalming, Surrey. For more information go to our website: