Imogen Heap's "Tidal": Using a Melodic Shape as a Formal Map

Written by Gary Ewer, from The Essential Secrets of Songwriting website. ___________ How do we identify a good song to someone else? Generally it’s by the melody. You don’t usually go to a friend and say, “Hey, I just heard this great new song…”, and then tap out the prominent rhythmic motifs, or recite the […]

Five Tips for Writing Great Holiday Music

Written by Gary Ewer, from “The Essential Secrets of Songwriting” website. __________ Everyone has a time of year when the regular grind comes pleasantly to a halt, and it’s time to think of family, friends, and the things that make life happy. Whether Christmas, Hanukkah, or most other faiths, people get in the mood through […]

Songwriters: Identify the Goal, then Work Backwards

Written by Gary Ewer, from “The Essential Secrets of Songwriting” website. _______ There’s a somewhat romantic notion out there that the best songwriters are the ones who just somehow create music without even knowing how they do it. It just flows. But that’s really not how it happens. True, there are songs that come together […]

Sia's "Soon We'll Be Found"- Two-Part Verses and Other Goodies

Written by Gary Ewer, from “The Essential Secrets of Songwriting” website. Follow Gary on Twitter for songwriting tips, news and more. ___________________ If you don’t know the music of Sia, you’re missing a real treat. Her music is a perfect example of how songwriters need only venture minimally outside the box to create fantastic music. […]

It's Hard to be Unique if You're Using the Same Tired Formula

by Gary Ewer, from “The Essential Secrets of Songwriting” website: ____________ Structure is everything in songwriting; without structure, you’ve got a song that listeners just won’t understand and can’t get into. It’s why we talk so much about the form of a song. An easily discernible form makes it more likely that listeners will remember […]

What Your Song’s Bridge Needs to Do

Written by Gary Ewer, Senior Instructor, Dalhousie University, from “The Essential Secrets of Songwriting” website. • Follow Gary on Twitter • Good songs sell! Check out “The Essential Secrets of Songwriting” 6 e-book bundle – available now at a 50% savings! ________________________________ When I adjudicate performers at festivals, I love pointing out that good music is often more about […]