Adele

Delaying the Chorus by Using a Pre-Chorus

The conventional wisdom is that a song’s chorus should be happening by the time you get to the 1-minute mark, or even sooner. A chorus that happens after the 1-minute mark can work just fine, though, particularly if the song is in a slow ballad style. Deciding when it feels right for the chorus to […]

Singer - Songwriter

Exploring the Extremes

If you always give the audience what they’re expecting, that’s a recipe for losing a fan base. It’s true that your fans are going to expect a certain style of songwriting from you, but if you never venture outward — never explore the extremes — your fan base is going to get lulled into the […]

Guitarist - Songwriter - Lyricist

How Much of a Lyric Needs to be Understood?

Some lyrics are stories, and so there’s a simple answer to the question of how much of a lyric needs to be understood: darn near all of it. The beauty of story lyrics is in the way you say things, and the imagery you use. There’s more to a song hook than meets the ear… a […]

Carole King

Keeping Your Listeners Excited to Listen For the Full 4-Minute Experience

One of the most powerful and effective aspects of songwriting is creating a sense of expectancy. That term expectancy refers to a song’s ability to make you want to hear what happens next. Without that quality of expectancy, a song would have no ability to keep listeners listening. The best element to look at to see expectancy […]

Songwriter on a new path

Comfort Zone

We humans have an innate tendency to stay within our comfort zone, at least most of us. There are risk-takers out there, but more often than not we like predictability in almost everything we do. There’s nothing wrong with staying within a comfort zone, but if you’re a songwriter, writing the same way — staying […]

The Police

Some Thoughts on Targeting Your Audience

If you’re a songwriter, you’re targeting an audience, whether you do it intentionally or inadvertently. You may favour country music, for example, and so if you put your songs out there for others to stream, it’s country music lovers that will be listening to them, whether you purposely target that demographic or not. “Use Your […]