Stevie Wonder

Creating Hooks in Pop Song Formats

For most songwriters, talking about “the hook” means talking about the chorus, at least the main part of the chorus melody that’s catchy and immediately identifiable. If someone asked you to sing the most identifiable part of Derek & the Dominos’ “Layla”, you’d start with the opening of the chorus (“Layla/ Got me on my […]

TwinstheNewTrend

Watching Your Audience’s Reaction

For all the times that you ask others for their opinions about your latest song, you might be neglecting the obvious: your audience’s reaction. Once all the knowledgable musicians we know have weighed in, what really counts is your target audience. Audiences aren’t going to fill out a questionnaire regarding the excellence (or not) of […]

Song Melody

The Power of a Great Song Melody

Robin Gibb once said that a great song is all about a great melody. It really depends on the genre, but most of the time I think he’s right. When you’ve hooked a listener with a good melody, you’ve given them something to hum — something to remember. A great melody is a powerful way […]

Singer - Songwriter

Showing Your Audience Exactly Who You Are

You’d be surprised how much of a strong role honesty plays in how your song comes across to an audience. Honesty, from a audience’s perspective, is simply this: Are you writing music that accurately reflects the person you are. You can spend an awful lot of time trying to figure out what your target audience wants […]

Singer-Songwriter

Pop Songwriting: Perfecting the Miniature Musical Form

Songs are short. Most of them, anyway. And by short, I mean usually less than four minutes. That may seem like an insignificant detail that’s hardly worth mentioning, but the shortness of songs is a kind of musical challenge: in a very short period of time, you need to offer the audience a complete musical […]

Yes - Roundabout

How Simplicity Makes for Good Songs

Some of the best songs ever written have a noticeable core of simplicity about them. Songs where the melody is easy to remember and easy to hum means that audiences are more likely to hum it as they go about their day. Simplicity is part of the reason that we find it so easy to […]