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 […]

Imogen Heap

Developing a Sense of Logical Progression in Your Songwriting

As you probably know, I use the term “musical journey” to describe a good song. I like the term mainly because it applies to pop songs that are typically short (3-4 minutes), longer, more intricate songs (5-8 minutes) or even longer prog rock-style song cycles. So describing any song as a journey is a reminder that there […]

8 Tips for Making Melodies and Lyrics Your Songs’ Best Features

Songs are vehicles that take a listener on a 3-4 minute journey. However interesting and captivating that journey is, that’s the measure of a song’s success. Since songs are partnerships of many different elements all working together — melodies, lyrics, chords, instrumentation/production, tempo, time signature and more — it can seem to be a daunting task […]

Piano

Creating Melodies When You Use the Chords-First Method

One of the biggest drawbacks to starting your songs by working out a chord progression is that melodies can get a bit neglected. Historically, composers in the Classical realm rarely if ever started compositions with just chords. They’d practically always start with something hummable (a melody), or something otherwise memorable (the lyrics, perhaps). And since […]

Father & son singing

All You Have to Offer

As a songwriter, you possess a skill that can make someone’s mood a little brighter, and someone’s day a little better. You could argue that practically everyone, no matter what they do in life, has the same ability. One way or another, we all have the chance to make someone’s day better, even if it’s just […]