Jimmy Webb - Glen Campbell

The Lyrical Power of Wichita Lineman

This week, with the passing of legendary singer-songwriter Glen Campbell, we’ve been hearing a lot about some of the songs that made him famous as a solo artist: “Rhinestone Cowboy”, “Galveston”, “Gentle On My Mind”, and “Wichita Lineman”, among many, many others. “Wichita Lineman” was written by Jimmy Webb, and it’s the song I’ve been […]

Joni Mitchell - Little Green

How Hidden Meaning Works: Joni Mitchell’s “Little Green”

A song where the meaning of the lyric isn’t immediately clear excites us. We’re usually intrigued by the fact that the words are so simple, the phrases and sentences so seemingly unambiguous, and yet… what does it all mean? We can usually tell when a songwriter is pouring out their soul to us, even if […]

Why Writing From a Title Works So Well

In considering the many ways that songwriters start the songwriting process, working from a title is, in my opinion, one of the best. The reason comes down to one word: focus. To tell you more about what I mean, consider one of the other common ways to get the process started: working from a chord progression. […]

Songwriter

Choosing Chords to Make Your Lyrics More Powerful

It’s an important principle in good songwriting that all elements within any song should act as partners. We know, for example, that the mood of a song can be strongly affected by the tempo we choose, and also by production choices: instrumentation, performance style, and even the key. A lyric can be excellent, but if […]

Peter Gabriel - Shock the Monkey

When Lyrics Are Hard, How Do You Attract an Audience?

“The Essential Secrets of Songwriting” eBook bundle comes with a free copy of “Creative Chord Progressions”. Learn how to take your chords beyond simple I-IV-V progressions. With pages of examples ready for you to use in your own songs!  The most important part of getting a song right is getting the audience to care about what you’ve […]

Gotye

Improving Your Verse Lyric By Reading It Aloud

You’ll often hear that the verse is where you tell the story in your song. Most of the time, however, a song verse tells its story in a roundabout sort of way. There are the songs we call story songs – the ones that give a specific account of events in a sequence we’re used to when we […]