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 […]

Songwriter

5 Innovative Ways to Change Up Your Songwriting Process

One of the main reasons songwriters get stuck in a creative rut is an overused songwriting process. If you find that you’re always approaching songwriting the same old way, and using the same structural design and chords over and over again, just changing how you approach writing can quickly break you out of a creative […]

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: […]

Microphone - Song melody

Writing a Song Melody That Uses an Arch Shape

In 1937 Carl Orff wrote “Carmina Burana,” a 25-movement song cycle/scenic cantata that became an instant audience favourite. My choir, Dalhousie Collegium Cantorum, is working on this piece in preparation for an early-April performance, and it’s a ton of fun. Even if you aren’t familiar with the entire work, you likely do know the epic first song, “O […]

The Value of Switching From Songwriting to Playing

Back when I was a music student at university, composition was my major, so I was writing constantly. My main instrument was (and is) trumpet, and so I was also practicing when I could get the chance, and I was involved in many ensembles. It didn’t take me long to notice something interesting: When I ran […]

Songwriter - guitarist

What Inspiration Means to a Songwriter

There are commonly-used words in the music world that have several meanings, depending on who’s using the word, and the context in which the word is being used. For example, you’ll find that the word “hook” can mean a short, catchy bit of music, but it also might mean an entire chorus — depending on who’s talking, and on […]