Guitar and music

The Placement of Your Song’s Highest Note

Many songs have a noticeable climactic high point — a spot where the highest note happens. It’s often found in the chorus, because choruses in general use higher notes than verses. Though you can find the highest note in the bridge, the high note of the chorus often comes with a higher impact. That’s because […]

Imogen Heap

Grabbing Attention In Pop Songwriting

When songs are boring to audiences, don’t expect them to be able to say exactly why they’re bored. Most people can say what they like about a good song, but are less able to say specifically what isn’t working about a bad one. When a song sounds boring, it simply means that little or nothing […]

Justin Timberlake - Can't Stop the Feeling

In Songwriting, Structure Comes Before Packaging

As a songwriter with aspirations for success in the business, your dream is to have your songs appeal to as many people as possible. But as you know, there have been legendary fights between producers, who make it their job to understand the market, and songwriters, who might be reluctant to commercialize their music to […]

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 […]

Singer-Songwriter recording

Your Start Influences Your Finish

Here’s an experiment you can try: take your favourite song and play the first 10 or 15 seconds of it, and then listen to the last 10 or 15 seconds and compare. What do you notice? For most songs, you’ll hear a strong similarity between the beginning and the end. Generally, the feel, key, tempo […]

Songwriter

Writing Before Knowing

You’d be in good company if you said that every time you sit down to write a new song, you’d like to know what you’re writing about. It doesn’t make sense to start the actual writing of a song without knowing something about what you’re trying to say. Or perhaps it does. You might think that […]