What Is A Topline In Music? + Where To Find Quality Writers Thursday March 31 2022, 5:00 PM
Yona Marie
Singer, Songwriter, Producer.
What Is A Topline In Music? + Where To Find Quality Writers

What Is A Topline In Music?

The term vocal topline is quite new in the music world. Made popular by EDM producers, a vocal topline is a sung melody that usually has lyrics written along with the melodic content.

Topline vocals are often said to be extremely catchy and well-made when it comes to song structure.

A topline singer often has an incredible talent for writing and performing to a pre-made beat. A topline can sometimes refer only to the melody line without any lyrics.

In EDM and similar genres of music instrumentation, the beat is often very complex and does a lot of heavy lifting for the song overall. Many times, the vocalist will only sing over small sections in a song with very simple songwriting involved.

The vocalist, in this instance, is seen as adding a topline to a fully fleshed-out work that has already been made and already tells a story without words. 

Related Post: How To Get Better At Songwriting

Songwriters Vs. Topliners 

I was confused years ago when I first heard the term topliner. Someone asked if I was a topline vocalist. I figured they were asking if I liked to sing the soprano parts in harmony breakdowns.

The term topline only circled the Dance, Pop, and EDM realm, but it easily relates to those who write vocal lines for Hip Hop and R&B songs as well.

As an R&B creator, I am used to just calling myself a songwriter. In the end, they both mean the same thing when it comes to writing lyrics and/or melodies to a beat. 

Songwriters are often seen in other genres as those who can create chord progressions and play musical instruments along with their vocal melody lines and lyrics as well.


Songwriters in the folk or country world, for example, will not be used to writing a song to a beat and will likely feel more comfortable writing their songs from scratch.

In this sense, a topliner does way less and has less creative control compared to songwriters. But a topliner, in the end, is just a type of songwriter. 

Where Can You Find Premade Toplines? 

If you are on a budget or don't need anything that's original, consider using royalty-free vocal samples.

Many vocal sample packs have some great vocal work from singers and songwriters who are willing to let you use their vocals for any of your future releases.

This is often a popular choice for up-and-coming producers who often use vocal acapella from popular song releases and add them to their own remixes and original beats. 

Related Services: Check Out My Vocal Sample Pack Here

Where Can You Find Good Topline Writers?

You can check songwriting credits for a lot of your favorite dance, pop, and urban hits to get the names of some of the most successful topliners in the industry.

You can also find many independent songwriters who are available to create a topline for your tracks on sites like Fiverr, Airgigs, and Vocalizr. I have used these three sites in the past and had several successful collaborations on each platform. 

Tips For Becoming A Vocal Topline Writer 

If you are looking to become a vocal topliner, the good thing is that it's very free to start practicing to beats you find online! You don't need to publish songs to work on your skills as a vocal topliner.

You can use beats that are on the radio, beats you find on Youtube, and so much more to come up with vocal topline ideas. Here are some key pointers I want aspiring topliners to have.

Try A Variety Of Beats

A great way to increase your songwriting skills and marketability as a topliner is to have the ability to write to several different types of beats.

If you can write to pop, hip hop, electronica, or even other genres that aren't traditionally known for having premade beats like jazz or rock, you will really be able to boost your skills over time!

Collaborate With Others For Free 

Don't worry about making money if you're just starting. Work on building your songwriting and singing demo reel!

Collaborate with people you know and people you don't know. Go to local events and get your name out there in your music scene. Practice co-writing with other songwriters and share tips with each other. 


Work On Your Vocal Chops

Topline writing involves talent for songwriting, but you don't want to stop growing in your vocal ability as you get better at songwriting.

A lot of successful topline vocalists are through and through vocalists with some amazing pipes and a knack for connecting with a beat perfectly. Your vocal delivery should be as great as your pen. 

Sign Up For Freelancer Sites

Sign up to sites like Fiverr, Airgigs, and Vocalizr once you feel like you are ready to take things to a professional level and work on other people's projects.

Start your pricing on the low side to gain experience on these platforms and build up a lot of positive ratings from clients. 

Related Post: How To Make Money As A Songwriter And Singer

Yona Marie

As a session singer, writer, and producer that has worked with over 300 clients to provide high-quality jingles, singles, and features, Yona spends her time creating and marketing new music and helpful resources for creators. Check out Yona’s latest releases on her Spotify, her Youtube and share if you like it!

If you are in need of singer, songwriter or song producer services, see what Yona Marie can offer you on her services page.

Check Out My Latest Single Release Below:

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