Singer-songwriter on stage

Coming Up With Fresh Songwriting Ideas

Here’s a problem that I noticed in my own writing years ago, and I still battle today: Making sure that my newest songwriting ideas don’t sound the same as everything else I’ve written. I suspect that most songwriters deal with this issue. We all have a kind of artistic “muscle memory” that keeps our fingers […]

Ten of the Most Important Things a Songwriter Should Remember

There are things a songwriter should remember because they’ll result in better songs. There are other things that will result in a happier you. From time to time, you need to sit back and bring those things to mind. I write music almost every day. Sometimes they’re arrangements of already-existing songs (folk songs, for example). […]

FUN - We Are Young

Identifying the Section of a Song That Isn’t Working

Once you’ve finished a song and play it for yourself a few times, you might find yourself feeling that one particular section — the verse, let’s say — just doesn’t quite make the grade. You like everything else about the song, but that verse, for whatever reason, isn’t doing a good job of setting up […]

Guitar and Notepad - Songwriting schedule

Creating a Sensible Songwriting Schedule

One of the best ways to avoid writer’s block before it ever happens is to create a songwriting schedule. Scheduling your writing takes patience and discipline, but it keeps your mind feeling creative. One of the reasons you probably hate scheduling is that it forces you to write even when you don’t feel like it. […]

Melodies and Chords, and How They Work Together

When we talk about a melody-first songwriting process, we assume that we’re talking about writing a song where thinking up the melody, or at least a bit of a melody, is the first step. Then once we’ve got a good chunk of that working and sounding good, we then try to figure out what kind […]

Songwriter - Guitarist

Finding the Meaning of Your Song Before the Lyrics Happen

Though everyone has a favourite way of starting songs, I think it’s fair to say that most people will use many different processes, depending on what musical idea pops into their head at the start of a session. Some typical ways of starting: Setting up a percussion loop and improvise over it, using the mood […]