Solving Musical Problems Is Best Done Before Production Happens

In 2005, when I wrote my first eBook, “The Essential Secrets of Songwriting”, I was planning to call it “The Essential Principles of Songwriting.” After some considerable thought, I reasoned that most people would be turned off by the word “principles”, and opted instead for “secrets.” To my mind, however, it conveys the same thing, […]

The Moody Blues - Nights in White Satin

Going From Simple to Complex In Your Songwriting Process

“Nights in White Satin” (1967) is one of The Moody Blues’ biggest hits. Most people know it in its “single” version — a bit over 4 minutes in length. But its full-length version, complete with orchestral introduction and interlude by the London Festival Orchestra, is a multi-sectional work of more than 9 minutes – a […]

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 […]

Songwriting - Producer

Technology and the Songwriting Playing Field: Avoiding the Pitfalls

Not that long ago, most of the music you were likely going to hear was good music. I’m talking about before the internet made streaming easy and everywhere. If you were a child of any time before the later 90s, the music you heard was probably the music on the radio, and then the albums […]

Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young

Toning Down the “Sweetness” Factor In Your Songs

There are some genres that are edgy and energetic by nature. If you like the warm fuzzy feeling you get from a lightly-accompanied ballad, you’re not likely going to be writing heavy metal. But what if you like lightly-accompanied music for the transparency of its sound, but you wish your song had a bit more […]

The Beatles - {Kenny Lane - Strawberry Fields

Chart Battles and Songwriters’ Egos

In February, 1967, The Beatles, who had just released their double A-side “Strawberry Fields”and “Penny Lane,” were kept from the number 1 spot on Billboard by Englebert Humperdinck’s adult pop hit, “Release Me.” It’s funny to think that those songs were even vying for top spot in the same chart. That’s a little like discovering […]