Songwriting

Does It Matter In What Order Your Song Comes Together?

New songwriters can be forgiven for thinking that there must be a right way and a wrong way to assemble a song. When we talk about songwriting process, there tends to be a belief that you should start with a certain element of a song (the lyrics, or the chords, or perhaps the melody) and […]

James Taylor

Stealing (Not Stealing) Songs

A number of years ago I wrote a blog post called “Deliberately Sounding Like Your Songwriting Hero.” In it, I advocated pretending that you were your favourite songwriter, trying to write a song that would sound to everyone else that it was written by that person. The reason was a simple one: It would focus […]

George Harrison

Solutions For the Two Main Reasons Why a Song Might Fail to Impress

In reality, there are many possible reasons why a song that started with a lot of promise winds up being one where the audience has a ho-hum reaction. But if you’re looking for a likely culprit, here are two of the most common reasons for a song that misses the mark: The hook isn’t doing […]

Songwriter-Guitarist

The Power of Creative Chord Changes

By creative chords, I mean any progressions that stray from the typical 3- or 4-chord changes that strongly reinforce the key your song is in. Standard progressions are the most common ones you’ll find in most of the pop genres, like: I-IV-V-I (C-F-G-C) I-ii-V-I (C-Dm-G-C) I-vi-IV-I (C-Am-F-C) I-vi-V-I (C-Am-G-C) There are more to add to […]

Joni Mitchell - Little Green

Great Songs Are the Best Teachers We Have

Recently the music world has been noting and celebrating the fifty-year anniversary of Joni Mitchell’s 1971 album “Blue.” If you know this album, you will know that many will tell you that the lyrics are its most powerful element. And I agree with that sentiment. There’s not a weak song on the album. When you […]