Adele

The Structure of Good Verse Melodies

It’s hard to think about song melodies without also thinking about the chords that we put underneath them. They go hand in hand. Historically (as in hundreds of years ago) music was all about the melody. Eventually (in the early 1600s) it was melody and bass line, with chords starting to fill in the middle. […]

Oscar Peterson Trio

Fixing Songwriting Errors Before Recording

If you ever listen to an old 1950s-era recording of jazz pianist Oscar Peterson, you’re probably hearing him with his trio which included Herb Ellis on guitar and Ray Brown on bass. No drummer at that time, but the three of them played with such a powerful sense of beat and rhythm that you don’t […]

Outline of a guitar

The True Nature of Contrast in Songwriting

We tend to over-simplify what we mean by contrast in a good song, and thereby misunderstand its power. Contrast, in musical terms, means considering musical opposites: loud versus soft, high versus low, and so on. When we over-simplify contrast, we simply think that the contrast principle requires us to mix loud and soft sounds, high and […]

Musical inspiration

Finding Songwriting Inspiration That Can Keep You Going

Inspiration in its most basic terms is excitement. It’s that simple. If you’re inspired, you’re excited. In the minds of most creators of music or other art forms, inspiration seems crucial. If you’re not inspired, you’re likely not writing. Trying to get a handle on writing song lyrics? Discover the benefits of making a lyrics-first method […]

Joe Cocker

Giving Your Songs More Edge

One of the first things a listener picks up from a song is the mood. Right away, we can usually tell if it’s upbeat and cheerful, or dark and brooding, or somewhere in between. The fact that we notice mood so quickly is probably an indication of how important it is to people. Online songwriting […]

Springsteen - Tunnel of Love

Creating Song Lyrics That Are Relatable

While browsing about on YouTube recently I listened to one of my favourite Bruce Springsteen songs, “Tunnel of Love” (1987) from the album of the same name. I loved reading through the comments on the page, because it was obvious that other people love the tune as much as I do. I want to talk […]