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 […]

Rhyming Lyrics: What’s Best in Today’s Songwriting?

There’s an obvious problem when it comes to writing lyrics that rhyme: the more diligent you are in creating a rhyme, the more limited your choice of words. The other side of that is this: creating a rhyming lyric that says exactly what you want to say can be quite a treasure. The strength of […]