Songwriter improvisation

Can You Have Bad Songwriting Instincts?

When we talk about an instinct, we’re usually referring to something that’s born within us, something for which we have an obvious talent or aptitude. In common usage, we usually take the term even further and say that an instinct is something that we do without thinking. (“A bird flew toward my car as I […]

Jealous musician

Can Jealousy Get You Through a Bout of Writer’s Block?

When you’re experiencing a creative block of some sort, one where writing is causing considerable frustration, a good solution is often to simply step away for a few days and let your creative mind have a bit of a rest. And during that stepping away, it’s good to keep yourself immersed in music. There are […]

Producer David Foster

Success Starts With the Song

This past Friday, producer David Foster did an interview with Tom Power on the CBC Radio show ‘Q.’ Toward the end of that interview, this was said: DF: “Well, you know, Quincy Jones, what he said about having a hit record? ‘Quincy, what’s the three elements you need for a hit record?’ ‘Well, let me […]

Use Your Words! Developing a Lyrics-First Songwriting Process

Tips For Developing a Poem-First Songwriting Process

The following is an excerpt from Chapter 3 of “Use Your Words! Developing a Lyrics-First Songwriting Process.” That eBook is currently a free add-on to “The Essential Secrets of Songwriting 10-eBook Bundle.” Poems don’t always make good lyrics, if only because the emotional ups and downs of a poem are often subtler than is required […]

Tom Cochrane

Songwriting: Pairing Up Instinct With Knowledge

As a songwriter, you’re always trying to get the notes of your melodies, as well as the chords that accompany them, to sound somehow magical. At least, that’s the way most audiences will perceive what you’ve done. But hopefully you know that it’s not magic. It’s not even random, even though you may use improvisation and […]

Guitarist - Songwriter

Songwriting and Healthy Self-Criticism

One piece of advice songwriters hear over and over (and I think it’s usually good advice) is to “silence your inner critic.” The belief is that songwriting can grind to a halt when you spend all your time finding fault with what you’re writing, before it’s even finished. Being critical, though, need not always be […]