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 […]

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 […]

Guitar, paper & pencil, smartphone

Dealing With “I Can’t Finish a Song” Syndrome

We tend to think that the only people with any measure of musical ability are the ones that have a special gift for it. And while being a good musician requires a bit more than a passing understanding of how music works, musicianship is something that comes with being human. It’s in our DNA. The kind […]

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 […]

Songwriting and technology

3 Tips for Remembering a Melody You’ve Just Thought Up

When it comes to technology that helps us as musicians, we’re living in wonderful times. Using smartphone apps or the internet, we have instant access to tuners, metronomes, mixers and recorders. We’ve got software that can write out our musical scores, then print up the parts, all correctly transposed. We can work out lyrics with […]

Why Sticking to the 3-4 Minute Song Length Still Makes Sense

There’s an interesting history behind why pop songs tend to be 3-to-4 minutes in length, and it has to do with the nature of the medium: typically, a 10-inch record spinning 78 times per minute, as you would have had when rock & roll was in its infancy. That usually meant that it was not […]