Songwriter

Seven Things That Really Matter In Your Songwriting

If you find that someone is able to write a complete song every few days, you might be tempted to think that there’s something magical about whatever process they’re using that helps them be so prolific. But the truth is that good songwriting is rarely about whatever process a writer might have used to create […]

Keyboard and guitar

Your Chosen Instrument Influences Your Songwriting

It’s fair to think that your songwriting ideas come from your musical mind, and so your uniqueness as an individual, including all your life’s experiences, will influence those ideas. But the instrument you use to give life to your ideas also influences your songwriting. In a way, your chosen instrument acts as a kind of […]

Bob Dylan

The Colour Attributes of a Flat-VII Chord

Most of the time when you create chord progressions for your songs, you’re using chords that all come from a particular key. Often we combine chords even without knowing what key they come from. Trying to get the chords-first songwriting process working? Your main concern with chords-first songwriting will usually be the creation of good, memorable […]

John Legend - Nervous

How Controlling Musical Energy Keeps People Listening

There are some songs, when you compare the start of the song to the end of it, make it obvious what we mean by musical energy. “Stairway to Heaven” is a great example: it starts very quietly, uses subdued acoustic guitar and recorders, with a nostalgic, mid-range vocal approach. The hook is probably the most […]

Stevie Wonder

Five Easy Ways Your Chords Can Be More Interesting

As you know, I spend a lot of time telling songwriters that their chords don’t need to be complex or even innovative in order for a song to succeed. They just need to support the melody, and as long as that melody is catchy, and assuming the lyrics you come up with are engaging, you’ve […]

Music of the future

The Songs of the Future — What Will They Sound Like?

I had a professor once who, while commenting on what the music of the future would sound like, said, “Well, if we knew that, we’d be writing it now.” That’s very likely not true. What’s more likely is something like that scene from “Back to the Future”, when Marty plays “Johnny B. Goode”, which morphs into […]