Bruce Springsteen

Songwriting and Finding Your Own Voice

Put the words “songwriting” and “voice” together in a sentence, and you’d think I’m talking about singing. But there’s another aspect of songwriting and voice that comes about when talking about musical honesty. Here’s more about what I mean by that. If, once you’ve written a song, you ask a roomful of people what they […]

Abstract music

Complex Lyrics: Emotion Versus Meaning

Don’t miss out on a free copy of “Use Your Words! Developing a Lyrics-First Songwriting Process.” It’s free when you purchase “The Essential Secrets of Songwriting 10-eBook Bundle” If you like writing complex lyrics, where the meaning isn’t likely to be immediately obvious to your audience, you’ve got one main problem to overcome: to stimulate […]

Songwriter - Guitarist

The First Seconds of a Song – What’s Important?

In songwriting, the first notes a listener hears are vital ones. Listeners will continue with, or abandon, a song based on those first few seconds. It’s not just pop songwriters that deal with those tricky first few seconds. It’s been a challenge for composers for centuries. Once you’ve got a melody, how do you know […]

Guitar - songwriting

Songwriting, and Knowing What to Write About

How do you choose a song’s topic? For some, figuring out what to write about is one of the toughest parts of the process. There are lots of ways to approach it, and you might have several methods that you use interchangeably. Song Topics That Lead to Conversational Lyrics In one way, choosing a song’s topic […]

Music target

Targeting the Audience or Waving the Flag

There are two kinds of successful marketing strategies in songwriting/performing: you’re either targeting audiences, or you’re waving a big flag. The majority of songwriters (knowingly or unknowingly) target an audience. Targeting simply means trying to figure out what fans are looking for, and then give it to them. You may be the kind of writer, […]

Songwriter - Pianist

When Your Song’s Hook Isn’t Doing Its Job

A hook has several defining attributes that all partner together to make it memorable and catchy: It’s main identifying characteristic is its shortness, making it easy to remember. It has a melodic component that frequently includes some sort of leap, usually upward (“Born in the U.S.A.”). It has a rhythmic component that frequently includes a […]