Songwriter - Synth

Why Chord Progression Formulas Usually Make Songs Better

In songwriting, a formula amounts to a set of steps that are predictable “responses” to whatever has just happened. And in general, they’re not necessarily desirable. What’s so undesirable about formulas? It comes down to this: most of your listeners like to hear musical ideas that are generated in a spontaneous sort of way, and […]

Songwriter

No One Cares How Long It Takes to Write a Song If It’s a Good One

Look around you. You can probably see lots of things that you’ve purchased. Some are inexpensive, like pencils, your comb, and your lamp. Other things represent the most money you’ve ever spent, and depending on your stage of life, that could be your smartphone, your car, or your house. For everything that you own that […]

Cheering Crowd

Music and the Wisdom of the Crowd

There is a theory that if you ask a crowd of people to estimate how many candies are in a jar, the average of all their guesses is likely to be closer to the correct answer than most people’s individual guess within that group. That theory has a name — the wisdom of the crowd — […]

Sock Hop, 1950s

The Value of an Excellent Old Song

Chapter 5 of “The Essential Secrets of Songwriting” shows how melody and lyric need to work together. Learn how to do it right! Get the entire 10-eBook Bundle along with a free copy of “Use Your Words! Developing a Lyrics-First Songwriting Process.” We can learn something valuable about how the classical era composers like Mozart, […]

Michael Jackson - Thriller

Making Connections Within a Song to Strengthen Its Structure

When we talk about “making connections within a song”, we’re usually talking about finding ways to have, let’s say, some characteristics of your verse show up in other sections of your song — your chorus, or perhaps pre-chorus or bridge. For example, there is a noticeable connection between the initial verse idea and the start […]

Singer-Songwriter

Using Your Own Good Songs as Models For Your Next Good Ones

If you like starting songs by working with a chord progression, you need to read “Writing a Song From a Chord Progression.” It will give you the pros and cons of this songwriting method, and help you create songs that really work! Many years ago I was a band teacher for a junior high school. […]