Meaning Something to Someone

What metric do you use to measure your songwriting success? Is it money? The size of your fanbase? Your own personal sense of musical satisfaction? For me, it’s all about satisfying my musical soul. The music I write needs to be expressing some part of my innermost being. Not to be too corny about it, […]

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 […]

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 […]

The Beatles

Songwriting: How to Avoid Moving In a Bad Direction

If you look at the description of Lennon & McCartney’s “I Saw Her Standing There” in the Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Songs of All Time list, you’ll read this: This song had been written by McCartney two years earlier. After penning the first line  – “She was just 17” – McCartney wanted to avoid completing […]

Singer-Songwriter

Making Use of Musical Ambiguity in Your Songwriting

There is a pattern you’ll notice in most pop songs, which is that as they move along, they alternate between sections that are ambiguous in nature and sections that are much clearer and easy to understand. I like using the terms “fragile” and “strong”: In many songs, that “fragile-strong” labelling is synonymous with “verse-chorus” structure. […]

Peter Gabriel - Shock the Monkey

When Lyrics Are Hard, How Do You Attract an Audience?

“The Essential Secrets of Songwriting” eBook bundle comes with a free copy of “Creative Chord Progressions”. Learn how to take your chords beyond simple I-IV-V progressions. With pages of examples ready for you to use in your own songs!  The most important part of getting a song right is getting the audience to care about what you’ve […]