Singer - Songwriter

Locking Lyrics Into the Basic Beat of Your Song

When lyrics sound stiff or rhythmically awkward, it’s usually the case that the basic pulse and accents of the words and phrases aren’t being honoured by the pulse and feel of the music. One easy way to deal with this is to read your lyric aloud, getting a sense of the natural pulse of the […]

Writing great song lyrics

Lyrics and the Natural Pulse

When lyrics sound like they’re not working, you’ll want to check out the up-and-down of the emotional content. Good lyrics start by being observational and narrative in nature, and then move to being responsive and emotional. And that holds true no matter what genre of music you call your own. Beyond that, the next most […]

Chord Progressions: Uniqueness is Not All That Necessary (Or Possible)

There are certain progressions — certain combinations of chords — you’re more likely to see in songs written by a 21st century pop songwriter than you might with a Classical musician. But check out these two progressions and try to figure out which one was used by Romantic era composer almost 150 years ago, and […]

Breaking Free from 4/4 Time in Your Songwriting

Since the vast majority of songs (probably 98% or more) that make it to the charts in any genre use a time signature of 4/4, we can surmise that producers think that that most common of time signatures is part of a winning formula. Most of the time professional producers get these things right, but […]

Properly Preparing the Chorus Hook

Here’s something interesting that you may not have noticed about the songs you love: the part you love may only be a few beats long. The rest of the song has the main duty of building up and leading to that great moment. Those first few beats are so enticing, so interesting, and so exciting, we […]

Steering Children Toward Musical Happiness

If there are children in your life — if you have children yourself, or you work in a school, or you come into regular contact with nieces, nephews, and their friends — you know that music usually plays an important role in their day-to-day lives. Children seem to always be singing, dancing, or skipping to […]