Singer - Open mic

Music From a Different Angle Can Help Cure Writer’s Block

If you find that you just can’t finish any song you start these days, give yourself a break from writing before the frustrations get too deep. It’s often a good time to involve yourself in music, but from a completely different angle. If most of the music you write comes about by playing around with […]

Balancing the Familiar With The Strange

If you’re trying to create chord progressions that stray pleasantly away from the standard I-IV-V-I kind, you need to read “Creative Chord Progressions.” Right now, that eBook is FREE with your purchase of “The Essential Secrets of Songwriting 10-eBook Bundle” I learned something important about teaching very early in my career: if you want people […]

Paul Simon

Creating an Emotional Response With Song Lyrics

It’s an observation about lyrics that I’ve become aware of only recently: I tend to think of good lyricists as people who either a) make me think, or b) make me feel. Sometimes both simultaneously, (like you might experience with a song like, say, “Crying Lightning” – Arctic Monkeys (Alex Turner) but often one or the other. […]

Kacey Musgraves

Writing Songs Reminiscent of an Earlier Time

You hear a lot of criticism these days about pop music, and how everything sounds the same. Not enough creativity, no one going out on a limb. In reality, pop music — at least the kind that makes it to the Billboard Hot 100 — has always been populated with songs that sound the same. […]

songwriter - guitarist

What To Do If Your Songs Sound Too Syrupy

Do you find that you’d like a bit of edge in your songwriting, but everything you write sounds too sweet and gooey? You’d like to write a song that sounds like a Springsteen rocker, but the more you work on it, the more it sounds like “Muskrat Love.” So what can you do to take […]

Songwriter - Lyricist

Becoming a More Distinctive, Unique Songwriter

The best songs exhibit a mix of two things: Predictability. Songs need to sound enough like other songs out there that audiences enjoy your music. Uniqueness. Songs need to sound different enough from other songs out there that audiences don’t feel that you’re simply rehashing other writers’ ideas. And that’s a tricky balance to get […]