Jimmy Webb - Glen Campbell

The Lyrical Power of Wichita Lineman

This week, with the passing of legendary singer-songwriter Glen Campbell, we’ve been hearing a lot about some of the songs that made him famous as a solo artist: “Rhinestone Cowboy”, “Galveston”, “Gentle On My Mind”, and “Wichita Lineman”, among many, many others. “Wichita Lineman” was written by Jimmy Webb, and it’s the song I’ve been […]

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 […]

Great Song, But How Do You Get People to Care?

In 1958, American composer Milton Babbitt wrote an article for High Fidelity Magazine, called “Who Cares If You Listen?” The provocative title referred to the complexity of modern classical music, and the inability for most people to understand it or enjoy it. Babbitt’s position was that music had become like advanced physics or mathematics: too […]

John Mellencamp - Peaceful World

Two Simple Tricks to Make Your Song Stand Out From the Rest

Visit the Online Store for all your songwriting materials, including “The Essential Secrets of Songwriting” eBooks, plus the video-based “Easy Music Theory” course. Songwriters have a tricky relationship with predictability. A successful song is usually one that is innovative enough to stand out from all other songs, but similar enough to everything else (i.e., predictable enough) that […]

Peter Gabriel

What Do You Do to Incite an Emotional Reaction From Your Listeners?

I tweeted earlier today about an excellent interview with Peter Gabriel, “Life Lessons From a Rock Star.” I highly recommend you give that video a watch, as Peter, interviewed by philosopher Alain de Botton, discusses, at least in part, the notion of meaning in music. One of the first questions from Alain de Botton: What is […]

Rock singer

Getting Attention Using Your Vocal Range

It’s interesting that music in pop genres has mainly favoured the tenor male voice. Most songs will sit in either the high baritone or tenor range. I say interesting, because I was reading recently about a recently-completed study that has examined how much we like or are drawn to high or low-pitched speaking voices. You […]