Keyboard and Headphones

Songwriting Simplicity is Good; Mindlessness Not So Much

If you ask someone my age (a child of the 1960s, a teen of the 1970s) what they think of today’s pop music, you’ll probably get an earful. Most negative opinions of today’s music will come down to the fact that songs today seem uninspiring, noisy and mindless. “The melodies aren’t interesting”; “The chords are […]

TwinstheNewTrend

Watching Your Audience’s Reaction

For all the times that you ask others for their opinions about your latest song, you might be neglecting the obvious: your audience’s reaction. Once all the knowledgable musicians we know have weighed in, what really counts is your target audience. Audiences aren’t going to fill out a questionnaire regarding the excellence (or not) of […]

Mic in a sound studio

Going Old-School: Separating Songwriting From Production

One of the benefits of being a songwriter in the 21st century is you have an incredible array of computer-based tools at your disposal. Like at no other time in history, you can do up a polished, professional end product with not much more than a mobile phone and a good mic. Thousands of songwriters […]

Singer-songwriter-guitarist

Are You An Impulsive Songwriter?

Over the years I’ve written many articles for this blog that compare some aspect of Classical music to an equivalent aspect of pop songwriting. It’s not hard to find similarities. The basic constructs of music as known and understood by Bach are also evident and in abundant supply in most of popular music’s best songwriters. […]

Pensive songwriter

And Now For Something Completely Different

If every song you write bears a striking resemblance to the ones that came before it, you’ll struggle to build on your fan base. That’s because your fans will think they’ve heard it all before, and start to lose the belief that you’ll come up with something different. It’s tricky, though. For most singer-songwriters, if […]

Simon & Garfunkel

Writing a Rock Anthem – The Important Characteristics

It’s hard to define what a rock anthem is. It’s the sort of song form that you recognize when you hear it, though. The most important quality of an anthem is probably universality: the notion that everyone could join in and sing the chorus together, and feel a sense of camaraderie and celebration for doing […]