Justin Vernon - Bon Iver - 22, A Million

Turning Your Poems Into Song Lyrics

Have you ever had the experience of feeling that you write pretty good poetry, but every time you try to come up with a melody and chords that makes it sound like a good song lyric, it just doesn’t work? There are any number of reasons why that might be happening. Here are some possible ones: […]

Song Lyrics: We’re In a Different World (Aren’t We?)

There’s no denying that when it comes to lyrics, we’re in a very different world today when compared to what was being written in the earlier days of rock & roll: “All Shook Up” (Otis Blackwell and Elvis Presley) 1957: A well’a bless my soul What’sa wrong with me? I’m itchin’ like a man in […]

Daniel Merriweather - Adele

Making Melody Your Song’s Most Important Ingredient

Not every song is about the melody. For songs where the melody is kind of a neutral player, you’ll typically find that the rhythmic treatments, (especially background) will step up and take a leading role. In other words, the groove and feel become very important contributors. How you know that a melody is acting as a […]

8 Top Tips For Lyrics and Melodies

Good songwriting means creating a strong partnership between all the various elements of your song. You know you’ve got a good song when your lyrics, melodies, chords, rhythms, instrumentation/production and formal design all support each other. It’s not easy to troubleshoot a song that has problems. You can tell just by listening that something’s not […]

John Legend

Paying Closer Attention to the Rhythm of a Chorus Melody

I’ve written a fair bit lately about making a verse more effective, either by creating an interesting key change, or by paying closer attention to how the verse connects to the chorus. In this post, I want to look more closely at the chorus itself, and address an issue when the chorus itself just doesn’t […]