songwriting frustration

The Value of Small Goals in Songwriting

If you find yourself always succumbing to writer’s block, you may find yourself thinking that there’s as much frustration in the act of songwriting as there is fun. What can you do to prevent a creative block from constantly showing up at the worst times? One of the best ways I know to keep writer’s […]

Songwriter

Connecting a Verse to a Chorus – Keep the Musical Energy Moving Up!

No matter what genre you write in, there’s one thing that all songs have in common: they take listeners on a musical journey. That means that for every given moment within a song (assuming it’s well-written), listeners eagerly anticipate what’s going to happen next. In other words, just like a real journey, where you are always […]

Stevie Wonder

Songwriting 101: Hooking a Listener

While it’s most certainly true that a good song is a musical journey, it needs to be more than a mere journey if you hope that people will return to your song to listen again. For most songs in the pop genres which are typically under four minutes in length these days, the hook plays […]

Pet Shop Boys

Making Your Songs More Energetic

In my most recent blog post, I wrote about forward motion, also called momentum, and how tension and release is a vital way for increasing that momentum within a song. But what if the tension and release aspect of your song is working just fine, but you want the whole thing to sound a bit […]

Forward motion in music

The Forward Motion of Music

If you take a look at a photograph that’s been reversed, or look through your car’s rear view mirror, you’ll probably not see anything that looks weird, unless there’s a road sign or something else with words on it. Most of the time, you can look at things that are “backwards”, and they still make […]

Guitar

The Problem With Practicing Your Songwriting

Everybody knows the old adage “Practice makes perfect.” On the face of it, that makes a lot of sense. I don’t know of any skill that doesn’t get better by practicing. There is a problem with practicing, though, and it applies particularly to songwriting and other activities for which we don’t usually have a teacher: […]