Songwriter - Guitarist

Fine-Tuning Your Songwriting

I’m a trumpet player, though these days I do more writing and conducting than trumpet playing. Back when I was starting out, I was in final rehearsals for a one-off orchestra I had been hired to play in. I noticed that the principal trumpeter had a small ring of brass — sort of doughnut-shaped –that […]

Band concert

Experimenting With Tempo To Make a Song Better

You may not think of tempo as being part of a song that warrants a lot of experimentation. Usually in the songwriting process you’re focusing on chord choice, melody notes, and of course lyrics. But tempo has a huge role to play especially in creating a mood for your song. Moreover, it can allow you […]

paper & pencil - songwriter

Reading a Lyric as Part of Your Songwriting Process

Have you ever tried just reading your lyric out loud, without thinking about the melody you’ve written to go along with it? Reading a lyric can give you a lot of musical ideas, and can also serve as a good tool for diagnosing songwriting problems. Time to fix what’s ailing your songs. Read “Fix Your […]

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 […]

Sam Cooke

Coming Up With Fresh Song Topics When You’re Out of Ideas

Deciding what your next song could or should be about can stop your creative process in its tracks if you let it. You’ll be happy to know that great songs don’t need to be profound. True, some of the songs we acknowledge as being the greatest ones are about deep, philosophical/social issues: “Like a Rolling […]

Synthesizer player - Songwriter

Creating Chord Progressions That Work in Practically Any Song

A good chord progression has a sense of direction. It doesn’t just wander about, one nice chord following another nice one. Once a progression starts, it’s usually the case that it targets a particular chord, making that one chord more “important”, so to speak, than the others. You see this targeting of that one important […]