Songwriter with guitar and paper

Songwriting, and the Tricky Task of Remembering Patterns

When I taught ear training at university, I had students of widely varying abilities. Some could, as they say, hear paint dry, while others “couldn’t hear a bus.” One of the tasks my students had was to notate melodies as I played them at the piano. (I won’t go into the technique I used for […]

Songwriter in nature

Finding More Sources of Songwriting Inspiration

If you’re a composer of music who is required to be writing daily (film score composers, for example), you know that you can’t count on a steady supply of inspiration to keep you writing. You know you’re going to have days when you feel the excitement that inspiration provides, but lots of other days when […]

Songwriting Creativity is a Two-Step Process

I read a quote recently by Paul McCartney (I believe it might have been Philip Norman’s book “Paul McCartney: The Life”) in which he said that he didn’t know how to write songs, he only knew how to finish them. That quote shows great insight. I’ve made it a large part of my life to […]

singer-songwriter

Your Musical Imagination: Finding the Song Inside You

There are times when songs form themselves in your creative mind rather quickly. It seems that almost within minutes, you’ve got the basic structure working, even if some of the lyrics, melodies and chords haven’t all been worked out. It’s exciting when things happen quickly in the composing of music. On the other hand, a […]

Stepping Away From Songwriting Can Help Cure Writer’s Block

As you write songs, you’re digging into your creative mind to concoct something imaginative — something that the world hasn’t heard before. That level of creativity isn’t easy to maintain. If you’re a daily songwriter (and most of the successful ones write almost every day), there is an unwelcome partner working alongside you: frustration. Frustration is normal […]

Music Theory - Songwriting

5 Reasons Good Songwriters Benefit From Music Theory

An understanding of music theory can help make you a better overall musician, but doesn’t “create” musical abilities within you. To use an analogy, a bad violinist can buy the best multi-million dollar Stradivarius violin, and still sound bad. As a songwriter with certain abilities, and therefore certain successes, you can (and likely will) become a better musician as […]