Why Writing From a Title Works So Well

In considering the many ways that songwriters start the songwriting process, working from a title is, in my opinion, one of the best. The reason comes down to one word: focus. To tell you more about what I mean, consider one of the other common ways to get the process started: working from a chord progression. […]

Focusing Lyrics With a Good Payoff Line

The purpose of a payoff line is to provide a point of focus for your lyric, and, by extension, a purpose for your song. It’s a kind of hook that is delivered by the lyric. When a listener hears a good payoff line, their subconscious reaction is, so that’s what the song’s really about. (Example: […]

Peter Gabriel - Shock the Monkey

When Lyrics Are Hard, How Do You Attract an Audience?

“The Essential Secrets of Songwriting” eBook bundle comes with a free copy of “Creative Chord Progressions”. Learn how to take your chords beyond simple I-IV-V progressions. With pages of examples ready for you to use in your own songs!  The most important part of getting a song right is getting the audience to care about what you’ve […]

Gotye

Improving Your Verse Lyric By Reading It Aloud

You’ll often hear that the verse is where you tell the story in your song. Most of the time, however, a song verse tells its story in a roundabout sort of way. There are the songs we call story songs – the ones that give a specific account of events in a sequence we’re used to when we […]

Singer - Songwriter

Singing Nonsense Syllables (i.e., Gibberish) to Get a Song Going

Sometimes you need to hear your own music before you know what your song is actually about. There’s something about the chords you choose, and then the melody that gets created above them, that implies a kind of musical meaning. But occasionally it’s hard to get going because you can feel the melody starting to flow, and […]

Justin Vernon - Bon Iver - 22, A Million

Turning Your Poems Into Song Lyrics

Have you ever had the experience of feeling that you write pretty good poetry, but every time you try to come up with a melody and chords that makes it sound like a good song lyric, it just doesn’t work? There are any number of reasons why that might be happening. Here are some possible ones: […]