Songwriting Principle No. 2: Energy Propels Your Song Forward

When we speak of the energy of a song, it’s probably obvious what we’re talking about. In short, it’s that unseen force within a songthat causes our body to move with the music. All songs have energy, even the very quiet, serene ones. The successful song does not deal so much with how much energy a […]

Bad Songs, and How to Write Them

There are many ways to write a bad song, but most of those bad ways will fall into one of the following categories:    1. Ignore the form of the song. The form is what makes the listener feel like they’ve been on a journey. Form, in essence, means that your song will make sense.    2. Make sure your […]

How to Shape a Melody So People Will Remember It

A melody needs to have shape and a recognizable contour, or your audience won’t remember it. Recently, someone played a song for me that they had recently composed. My problem was, as I was diagnosing it, I had to keep going back to the recording of it; I couldn’t for the life of me remember that […]

Which Should Come First – Chords or Melody?

It’s probably true that more songwriters come up with a chord progression, in whole or in part, before they come up with the melody that goes along with it. These “chords first” people would probably say that they find it hard or impossible to come up with a good melody unless they’re hearing the chords underneath. […]

Rihanna's "Disturbia" – Why It Works

One of the points that I make over and over again to songwriters is that you really need to listen to the music of successful songwriters if you want to be successful. It’s not enough to hide yourself musically from what’s going on the comercial music world if you want to be part of that […]

How Important is Perfect Pitch?

From “The Essential Secrets of Songwriting” website:   You’ve probably seen the ads in magazines and newspapers that promise to help you develop perfect pitch. They’re talking about the ability to identify a note just by listening to it. Most musicians don’t have this skill, and the real question is, how important is it?   It’s […]