Be Careful With Sadness in Sad Songs

There’s something about reliving bad moments in our lives that we find good, in a weird sort of way. Sad songs work for that reason, and in fact, a recent study shows that we love to be reminded of sadness in our lives, if those reminders happen in song. If you’re trying to make your […]

5 tips for Silencing, then Awakening, Your Inner Critic

Being critical of what you’re writing is an essential step in perfecting your craft. Anyone who wants to improve at anything needs to be able to objectively critique what they do. To not have this kind of honest reckoning with yourself as an artist means limiting how much you can improve. The problem with being […]

Guitar, Pencil & Paper

What Causes Musical Boredom?

There’s probably nothing worse to you as a songwriter than discovering that people are bored with your songs. If you’re like most, you’d rather have a split between people loving and people hating your music. But boring your audience? That’s pretty bad. Your fans will likely be unmotivated to say why your songs are boring them, […]

The One and Only Reason That People Stop Listening

I remember a university prof years ago asking us fledgling students a question: What is the one thing that all pieces of music ever written have in common? You might think that it’s a pretty easy question. Obviously, all music involves sound, right? No. John Cage’s “4’33” is a work in which the performer (usually […]

Balancing the Familiar With The Strange

If you’re trying to create chord progressions that stray pleasantly away from the standard I-IV-V-I kind, you need to read “Creative Chord Progressions.” Right now, that eBook is FREE with your purchase of “The Essential Secrets of Songwriting 10-eBook Bundle” I learned something important about teaching very early in my career: if you want people […]

Band rehearsal session

Verses, Choruses, and the Role of the Tonic Chord

The key of your song is usually determined by the key of your chorus. Your song’s verse might be in A minor, but it’s quite common for the key to then switch to C major for the chorus, and that’s usually what we think of as the song’s main key. When you put the magnifying […]