Lady Gaga, Bradley Cooper

Composing Opposites as a Songwriting Exercise

On those days when you’re between songs and don’t know what to write about, you can avoid frustration — and ultimately writer’s block — if you change your focus and work on some songwriting exercises. The end result of a songwriting exercise is usually a fragment — a fragment that might or might not ever […]

songwriter pondering the future

Setting Targets Will Make Songwriting More Fulfilling, More Exciting

If you’re looking to become a better songwriter and wondering why that’s not happening for you yet, you only need to look at the kinds of goals to targets you set for yourself. Songwriters who struggle are usually guilty of one of the following: The goals they set are unrealistic. (“I want to be writing […]

Songwriter - editing music

The Confidence to be Honest as a Songwriter

You’ve got little to no hope of achieving your goals in songwriting, or any of the creative arts, if you don’t have the confidence to be honest about your songs. Confidence refers to your ability to stand behind and believe in your songs even though others might dislike them. Honesty refers to your ability to hear […]

Lorde - Writer in the Dark

Balancing the Unique With the Heartfelt

Every songwriter I know wants to write something unique, and you don’t even need to wonder why. Simply put, uniqueness means it hasn’t been done before, and there’s no better way to set yourself apart from other songwriters than to write something that hasn’t been done quite that way before. While that may be true, […]

Taking the Time Component Out of Your Song

Time is the one thing all music has in common. Whether we’re talking about a symphony, a pop song, a jazz ballad — whether it’s hip hop, ska, r&b — all music takes time. A start, a middle, and an ending. When we’re writing a song, we’re (either consciously or subconsciously) always considering some aspect […]

Singer-Songwriter - Recording Studio

Opting for a Refrain Instead of a Chorus

In common usage within the pop genres, a refrain is a closing line at the end of a verse, usually used in place of a chorus. A classic example is Bob Dylan’s “The Times They Are a-Changin’”. “Chord Progression Formulas” shows you how to create dozens of great progressions practically instantly by using some powerful […]