Musical inspiration

How to Write Songs When you Don’t Feel Inspired

The whole notion of songwriting without being inspired to write — it begs the question, “Why”? Why write if you’re not particularly inspired to do so? One reason you might write when not “feeling the muse” is that you’ve got a looming deadline. Perhaps you’re recording, and you need one more song. Maybe you’re taking […]

Bruce Springsteen

Making Imagery an Important Part of Your Lyric

Like so many things in the creative arts, imagery is difficult to define with any kind of precision. Of course you could say that imagery in songwriting is, simply, anything that creates images in the mind of the listener. But to me, there’s more to it, because practically anything you write will create images. In […]

The Beatles Now and Then

“Now and Then” – the Missing Pre-Chorus

I watched an interesting and very good analysis video of The Beatles’ “Now and Then“, called “Comparing John’s demo to the final Beatles track” (David Bennett Piano). As you likely know, the song was composed and performed in demo version by John Lennon back in the 70s, and the analysis video takes a closer look […]

guitar and candle

Developing a Song’s Message When the Lyrics are Complex

If you look at a lyric from a typical pop song, you’re not usually looking at something that’s deep or complex. Usually that’s by design: the purpose of most pop songs is to create emotions within the listener, and it’s hard to create emotions when the words and their contextual meanings are intricate or convoluted. […]

Guitar, Pencil & Paper

When Songs Are Hard to Finish – Reasons and Solutions

Is there anything more frustrating for songwriters than when a song starts easily, but the whole process grinds to a halt before even half the song is finished? There are several potential causes for this sort of thing — and to be honest, you’ll likely encounter each and every one of them at some point. […]

Irving Berlin

What You Can Learn About Songwriting From the Great Irving Berlin

I mentioned a few weeks back that I was enjoying a book I had received as a gift, called “Let’s Do It – The Birth of Pop”, by Bob Stanley. I’m most of the way through, and am still hugely enjoying it. I highly recommend it — you won’t be disappointed. If you’re stuck working […]