Beach Boys - Vocals

Creating Good Backing Vocals For Your Song Recordings

Backing vocals, when they’re done well, can give your song a professional sheen. When they’re done poorly — out of tune, or not well written — no one wants to hear that. It’s not really possible to solve the problem of writing or performing good backing vocals (BVs) in one blog post, so I’ll do […]

Recording Studio

If No One Is Humming Your Melodies, Here Are 3 Reasons

The world is a big place. I only mention that because that’s one possible reason why no one is humming your melodies. You need to be realistic in your expectations. If you aren’t actively trying to build an international audience base, most people actually won’t be humming your tunes. But that’s not what I’m talking about […]

Song Lyrics: We’re In a Different World (Aren’t We?)

There’s no denying that when it comes to lyrics, we’re in a very different world today when compared to what was being written in the earlier days of rock & roll: “All Shook Up” (Otis Blackwell and Elvis Presley) 1957: A well’a bless my soul What’sa wrong with me? I’m itchin’ like a man in […]

Leonard Cohen

Using Similar Rhythms Throughout a Melody Strengthens a Song

I’m often asked about motifs – how they work in typical songwriting, and if songwriters even need to be aware of them. Unlike a hook, which does its work in the foreground, a motif is a small building-block of music that works mainly in the background. That’s not to say we don’t typically hear motifs — […]

Daniel Merriweather - Adele

Making Melody Your Song’s Most Important Ingredient

Not every song is about the melody. For songs where the melody is kind of a neutral player, you’ll typically find that the rhythmic treatments, (especially background) will step up and take a leading role. In other words, the groove and feel become very important contributors. How you know that a melody is acting as a […]