Songwriter Listening

Putting Your Inner Songwriting Student to Work

When was the last time you put your inner student to work and analyzed a song? If you’re like most songwriters, the act of writing itself is how you learn. As you work out melodies, lyrics and chords that partner up well with each other, you usually become better, assuming of course that you aren’t […]

Johanna Warren - Singer-Songwriter

Two-Part Verse Structures: “Everyone I Know” (Johanna Warren)

I’ve only very recently discovered the music of Johanna Warren, a singer-songwriter from Portland Oregon. The stunning beauty of her music is addictive; it seems impossible to stop listening once you get started. First, check out her Bandcamp site where you can stream her albums. You won’t be disappointed. The aspect of her songwriting that […]

Songwriting: Improving Your Odds

A typical audience member is better at saying why they like a song than why they don’t. When a listener doesn’t like a song, they don’t take the time to wonder why. They just don’t like it, and that’s all they know. They click to listen to something else, and they’ll do that until they find […]

Songwriting analysis tips

5 Tips For Analyzing Your Own Songs

I’ve been spending a good amount of time in the past couple of days listening to songs for which songwriters have sent me links, asking for my thoughts on various issues and problems they’re having. It’s something I really love doing, when time permits. To me, solving musical issues that come up in a song is tricky because every […]

Sharpen Your Songwriting Chops With “Hello” (Adele)

Songwriters know (or should know) that songs are the best teachers. When you hear something you love, the artist in you instinctively wants to know why you love it. Through that kind of simple musical curiosity, you begin the next stage in your development as a writer. Adele’s “Hello” (co-written with songwriter-producer Greg Kurstin) is a […]

Lady Gaga - Till It Happens to You

The Musical Choices in “Til It Happens to You”

You really have to admire the producers of “Hunting Ground,” the 2015 documentary about rape on college campuses, for presenting a difficult topic with such unblinking honesty, courage and power. Just watching the film trailer will change you, assuming you didn’t already know the scope of the problem. Lady Gaga teamed up with hit songwriter […]