Rick Beato interview with Sting, Dominic Miller

Getting Inspired by Professional Singer-Songwriters

Often the best instruction you can get in songwriting is to listen to the songwriters who have made it big. Not only do you get good instruction, but you find yourself getting immensely inspired; you want to grab your instrument and start writing! Last year, Rick Beato, whose YouTube channel I’ve mentioned in my blog […]

Christmas Candles and Choir

Writing a Christmas Tune That Everyone Will Enjoy

If you’ve been planning to write a Christmas tune, you should be working on it now — Christmas is less than a month from now. In a way, there’s not really a lot of difference between a good holiday song and the ones you’d normally write. But if you’re looking to write something that everyone, […]

Guitarist - songwriter

Don’t Get Overly Worried About Similarity Between Your Songs

Similarity is a dangerous quality in the world of the creative arts. And it is a particular problem in pop songwriting, because — weirdly — it’s also an important quality. And it all comes down to how you define similarity and how excessive that similarity might be. If you’re ready to take your songwriting to its […]

Joni Mitchell

Understanding a Song’s Climactic Moment

Most songs have a “climactic moment”, usually in the chorus, but sometimes in other places, like a song’s bridge. In most cases, you can identify a climactic moment by finding the highest note. This has been a noticeable trait in music for centuries. You can go back to Handel’s oratorio “Messiah”, for example, and see […]

Ray Charles

Is There Anything Special About Songs That Get Covered By Others?

I was looking recently at a list of some of the world’s most covered songs, and saw a few surprises on it. Some of them were what we’ve come to expect on such lists: Paul McCartney’s “Yesterday”, Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah”, and Johnny Cash’s “I Walk the Line.” But I confess I didn’t know that Ray […]

The Bee Gees

Songwriting as Storytelling

Most song lyrics tell a story, whether it recounts a series of events in chronological order, or just simply implies a story. In fact, it’s probably true to say that most songs just imply a story, and we fill in a lot of details as the listener. There are any number of examples of what I’m […]