Genesis

Songwriting: Lyrical Hooks and Clichés

I’m a fan of Genesis, but enjoyed the older incarnation of that group more than the one in the mid-80s. That’s not a criticism at all because I think Genesis wrote brilliant pop music. I just happen to like their older prog rock style. Genesis wrote and recorded “Tonight, Tonight, Tonight” for their 1986 “Invisible […]

Guitar, Pencil & Paper

What Causes Musical Boredom?

There’s probably nothing worse to you as a songwriter than discovering that people are bored with your songs. If you’re like most, you’d rather have a split between people loving and people hating your music. But boring your audience? That’s pretty bad. Your fans will likely be unmotivated to say why your songs are boring them, […]

Songwriter-Lyricist

Fixing Common Problems With Song Lyrics

It’s not hard to find songwriters who find the writing of the lyrics to be the most difficult part of the process. You know what you want to write about, but every time you try to put it in the form of a lyric, your words sound confused, disorganized, or just plain corny. It’s time to […]

songwriting

Making Sure Your Song Has a Clear Message

If you find lyrics hard to write, there could be many issues at play. In general, when I hear someone complain that their lyrics sound “lame”, or “like garbage”, there’s often a problem that’s not immediately noticeable: Weak lyrics often lack focus or a clear message. There are lots of other problems you might encounter when trying […]

Pharrell Williams - Happy

The Importance, Or Not, of a Song Topic

Songwriters spend a lot of time thinking about what their next song is going to be about. They certainly spend more time thinking about a song’s topic than listeners do. There is a good reason for that. Audiences take in the entire sonic experience when they listen to a song. The actual topic is but […]

Peter Gabriel - Don't Give up

Where a Lyrical Cliché Might Work In a Song

One of the worst things you might do as a songwriter is to use clichés in your lyrics, but I’d like to make a small defence of this faux-pas, at least in certain situations. You’d think that a cliché is going to get your song sent immediately to the naughty chair called “Worst Songs Ever”, […]