Put a Magnifying Glass On Your Songs With This Checklist

The Songwriter’s Checklist is a great way to focus in on why your songs might be missing the mark.


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Songwriting ChecklistEvery once in a while I publish my “Songwriter’s Checklist”, a way for you to really focus in on a problem. And I thought this might be a good week to do that again, since many universities are on a study break, and there’s likely a fair bit of songwriting going on. This time, I’ve done the checklist up in a PDF file (see the link below) so that you can print it up and have it nearby. This is a list that I’ll probably keep editing and expanding, and I’ll reissue it when I do.

As I usually do when I give the checklist, I give this strong suggestion: don’t use it if your songs are working! Some of the best hit songs over the past 6 decades have defied conventional wisdom for how a song should work. There are great songs that seem to do the opposite of what most songs do, and what a shame it would be if you threw something great out simply because it violated conventional wisdom.

But if you’ve got the makings of a good song, but something just seems to be missing, The Songwriter’s Checklist will at least help by focusing your attention. You may find, by running your song past the checklist, that the problem is staring you in the face!

And I’m always happy to give your song a listen. I do get busy with my own projects, but like to help if I can. So if you’d like to have me listen and critique something you’re working on, please send me an email first (gary [at] pantomimemusic.com. Sometimes it can take me a while to get back to you with an analysis, but if you prod me once in a while, that usually works. 😉

Download The Songwriter’s Checklist


Written by Gary Ewer, from “The Essential Secrets of Songwriting” website.
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