The Animals - House of the Rising Sun

Creating a New Song Melody: 4 Tricks

There are lots of tricks that composers have used over the centuries to create new melodies based on already-existing ones. Some ideas: Slowing a known melody down so much that it becomes unrecognizable as the original. Example: The first phrase of Mozart Piano No. 16 in C major served as the main melody for “Hey […]

Songwriting - Piano and guitar

Make Improvisation a Smarter Part of Your Songwriting Process

Improvisation is an important part artistic creation. Who knows where those very first ideas come from — the ones that pop into your mind as you’re walking down the street or sitting on a bus. But almost everything that follows, at least for most songwriters, happens through improvisation. In that context, improvisation means using your […]

Creating a Hierarchy of Songwriting Elements: What’s Most Important?

For every song you ever hear, it’s possible to compile a short list of elements that go together that make the song. For most, that list will include lyrics, melody, chords, rhythm (groove), instrumentation, and so on. Because every song is a musical journey, and every journey must be to some degree unique, the priority a […]

How Aging Affects Your Ability to Write Music

In the classical music realm, there is a notion that composers at some point reach an age of maturity regarding their compositional abilities and style. It’s a bit of an odd term in the sense that it implies that the music they wrote up to that point might be “immature.” But there is a validity to […]

Bruce Springsteen

The Slow-Building of a Fanbase

Most singer-songwriters want to build a fanbase, and the speed with which that base grows is usually seen as an indicator of general success. If you’re putting good music out there, of consistently excellent quality, your base will grow, and should do so quickly. If, however, your fanbase is growing slowly, don’t automatically assume that you’re […]