Guitarist - songwriter

Fixing Your Songs When You Can’t Identify the Problem

One of the biggest challenges in writing good music is figuring out why the song you’re writing isn’t working. You feel that it started with such promise, but now everything sounds lame. Probably the best thing you can do for a song that isn’t working is the easiest thing: play it for someone. Preferably play […]

Keyboardist songwriter

Don’t Over-Analyze Your Own Good Songs

Sometimes a song will work even though it seems to go against established norms for songwriting. We know, for example, that the vast majority of song choruses are higher in pitch than the verse that comes before it. So much so, in fact, that it amounts to a kind of principle of songwriting. But there […]

Songwriter's checklist

Analyzing Problem Songs

When a listener doesn’t like a song you’ve written, they don’t spend a lot of time thinking about it. They’re unlikely to analyze what they don’t like about a song. They’re more inclined to simply move on. That’s a problem for you, of course, because you need to know why! If you’ve written something that you […]

Guitarist - Songwriter

Got the Free Songwriter’s Checklist?

Every once in a while I like to remind my readers of my free eBook, “The Songwriter’s Checklist”, available for download here. I created a short explanatory video last year when I did the most recent update to this eBook. In that video, I explain when it’s a good idea to use a checklist, and […]

Songwriter - Lyricist

What’s Going Wrong With Your Lyrics? Use This Checklist

More songs are valued or rejected over the longterm because of the quality of their lyrics than any other song element. Take a look at practically any “worst of” list, and you’re usually looking at a list of songs where the lyrics are corny, stilted, or otherwise missing the mark. The best songwriters are best […]