Abstract music

Complex Lyrics: Emotion Versus Meaning

Don’t miss out on a free copy of “Use Your Words! Developing a Lyrics-First Songwriting Process.” It’s free when you purchase “The Essential Secrets of Songwriting 10-eBook Bundle” If you like writing complex lyrics, where the meaning isn’t likely to be immediately obvious to your audience, you’ve got one main problem to overcome: to stimulate […]

guitarist - songwriter

Getting a Weird Chord Progression Working: 2 Methods

Most songs in the pop genres use simple chord progressions. “Simple” means that they target the tonic chord — the chord that represents the song’s key — and make that tonic chord sound like “home.” These sorts of progressions: C-F-G7-C (I-IV-V7-I) C-Am-Dm-G-C (I-vi-ii-V-I) C-Dm-G-C (I-ii-V-I) These are all in the key of C major, and […]

Lyricist - Songwriter

You Love Lyrics, But Can’t Start a Song That Way?

If for you the lyric of a song is the most important feature, you’re definitely on the right track. Those songwriters who become most well-known and who have the most powerful legacies are the ones for whom lyrics are the most poignant part of the final product. “Hooks and Riffs: How They Grab Attention, Make […]

Starship - We Built This City

Starship, We Built This City, and Musical Honesty

Every once in a while I see it: an online reference to “We Built This City,” a 1980s smash hit for Starship, now considered in most polls to be the worst song of all time. And just yesterday I saw a 2016 article that I hadn’t read before: “An Oral History of “We Built This […]

Songwriter in Home Studio

Fixing a Bad Song: Considering These 3 Songwriting Truths

It happens to everyone – the closer you get to finishing your song, the more you realize you hate it. It’s just not working. You can’t even tell where the problems are, so you don’t know how to fix it. Most of these songs never get finished, because you’ve reached the point of diminishing returns: […]

Songwriter - Guitarist

The First Seconds of a Song – What’s Important?

In songwriting, the first notes a listener hears are vital ones. Listeners will continue with, or abandon, a song based on those first few seconds. It’s not just pop songwriters that deal with those tricky first few seconds. It’s been a challenge for composers for centuries. Once you’ve got a melody, how do you know […]