Rush - Freewill

Freewill: When Melody Lines are Bass Lines

Most of the time the bass in a band plays the root of the chord of the moment. In most genres, it is stylistically desirable for the bass to occasionally fill in the spots between strong beats with other notes, and we’re inclined to rate a bassist’s abilities based on how inventive/supportive these between-the-beats figurations […]

Music Theory - Songwriting

Can Music Theory Increase Your Creative Abilities?

There is a decades-old myth in the pop music world that asserts that the more you understand music theory, the more it stunts your creative abilities. Where does the myth come from? I suspect it goes something like this: When a song sounds really good, theorists will pull it apart to try to understand why it […]

Guitarist - songwriter

Fixing Your Songs When You Can’t Identify the Problem

One of the biggest challenges in writing good music is figuring out why the song you’re writing isn’t working. You feel that it started with such promise, but now everything sounds lame. Probably the best thing you can do for a song that isn’t working is the easiest thing: play it for someone. Preferably play […]

The Who

Is Your Song Intro Inviting Your Audience to Keep Listening?

The intro of your song is that one section that’s part songwriting, part production. In other words, for many songs you can take the existing intro away, replace it with some other intro, and the song is still essentially the same. In that sense, a song intro can be decided upon during the production stage […]

Songwriting Relaxation

Ten-Minute Ideas For Getting Your Songwriting Mind Ready

Everybody knows the benefit of taking breaks during songwriting sessions. A break allows your creative mind a chance to regroup and freshen up. And it doesn’t take much of a break to be useful. Even 10 or 15 minutes with a cup of coffee can help. “Hooks and Riffs: How They Grab Attention, Make Songs […]

Tom Petty

Making Your Melodies Easy For Listeners to Remember

In order for a melody to be successful, it needs to be easily remembered by a listener. If your melodies sound like aimless wandering, you’re going to have trouble building an audience for it. The best melodies out there are the ones that people can hum or sing, even if they aren’t great singers. When […]