George Harrison

Solutions For the Two Main Reasons Why a Song Might Fail to Impress

In reality, there’s many possible reasons why a song that started with a lot of promise winds up being one where the audience has a ho-hum reaction. But if you’re looking for a likely culprit, here are two of the most common reasons for a song that misses the mark: The hook isn’t doing its […]

Songwriter-Guitarist

The Power of Creative Chord Changes

By creative chords, I mean any progressions that stray from the typical 3- or 4-chord changes that strongly reinforce the key your song is in. Standard progressions are the most common ones you’ll find in most of the pop genres, like: I-IV-V-I (C-F-G-C) I-ii-V-I (C-Dm-G-C) I-vi-IV-I (C-Am-F-C) I-vi-V-I (C-Am-G-C) There are more to add to […]

A cluttered workspace

A First Step to Keeping Your Songwriting Output From Fizzling

I’ve always felt that the first step to keeping your songwriting output from fizzling is to have a well organized, tidy workspace. I don’t want to present myself as the model for this: I try, but like most people, my workspace can get a bit out of control. If you think it’s time to put […]

Guitar - piano

Songwriting: Hiding the Good Stuff

When you hear a song that you really like, what is it that you like about it? The answer probably changes from song to song. It might be the way the melody sounds for one song, while for another it might be the lyrics. But those are superficial characteristics. (I don’t use the word superficial […]

Singer-Songwriter

Becoming Better at the Language of Music

It’s common to hear people describe music as a kind of language. And it’s not hard to see why the comparison is made. With a language, we learn words and phrases that communicate thoughts and ideas to others. And in a very real sense, that’s what music is. Sometimes, the actual thing we’re communicating may not […]

Pat Metheny

Melodies, Chords and Feel – Musical Ideas from Pat Metheny

I’ve been watching Rick Beato’s interview with jazz guitarist Pat Metheny. It’s really great, and filled with a ton of information that’s incredibly helpful for musicians trying to make a go of it in the professional music world. I think what I love about it is that there’s very little time spent talking about gear, […]