Guitar and music

The Placement of Your Song’s Highest Note

Many songs have a noticeable climactic high point — a spot where the highest note happens. It’s often found in the chorus, because choruses in general use higher notes than verses. Though you can find the highest note in the bridge, the high note of the chorus often comes with a higher impact. That’s because […]

Imogen Heap

Grabbing Attention In Pop Songwriting

When songs are boring to audiences, don’t expect them to be able to say exactly why they’re bored. Most people can say what they like about a good song, but are less able to say specifically what isn’t working about a bad one. When a song sounds boring, it simply means that little or nothing […]

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 […]

Bruno Mars

Making Song Melodies Memorable and Singable

There is an important aspect of a good song melody that the average listener is not much aware of: shape. Good melodies need an engaging shape — something that is memorable, enticing, and (at least relatively) easy to sing. In fact, song melodies need even more. They need to partner with a lyric so that […]

Adele - Someone Like You

Checking and Comparing Verse and Chorus Melody Range

For many songwriters, getting a catchy melody for your song happens as the result of improvising melodic ideas over a chord progression. If that’s your normal process, it’ll usually work well for you. But improvising ideas should always be seen as a first step to getting a final version of a melody that really works. […]