guitarist - songwriter

5 Important Lessons I Learned Over the Years as a Composer of Music

Like anyone who writes music, I could probably write a book regarding advice I’ve been given over the years — advice that’s helped shape the musician I’ve become. The best lessons I’ve learned have come from individuals, not necessarily from the pages of a book. That’s not because books aren’t good; it’s more because I […]

Justin Vernon

Creating Power Within Your Songs

I’ve been enjoying reading the transcript of an older interview (June 2011) with Bon Iver frontman Justin Vernon on the Pitchfork website. Vernon is a singer/songwriter I have a lot of respect for. He puts a lot of thought into the music he writes, and in particular the lyrics. Get “The Essential Secrets of Songwriting” eBooks. They’ll […]

Piano and guitar - songwriter

The Unfinished Song: Turning Frustration Into Success

These days you might be listening to Handel’s “Messiah,” and even if you don’t know that work, you no doubt know his “Hallelujah Chorus” which ends the second part of the oratorio. “Messiah” is a lengthy work consisting of fifty-three movements, and listening to the entire piece will take you more than two hours. (Most […]

Songwriter

How Important Is “Externally-Sourced” Inspiration to You As a Songwriter?

We tend to think of songwriting and inspiration as going hand-in-hand. Talk to anyone about how they write songs, and “inspiration” is probably going to come up pretty early on in the conversation. Here’s the question: Do you need a good dose of inspiration before songwriting works for you? In other words, are you able […]

Songwriting frustration - crumpled paper

Starting Songs, Then Keeping the Fire Burning

If there is one problem that practically all songwriters deal with, it’s this one: the inability to finish a song. Most songs will start with something captivating: a great little hook, a catchy bit of chord progression, or perhaps a short idea for a melody. And they start with great promise. So for those songwriters […]

Singer - Songwriter

Showing Your Audience Exactly Who You Are

You’d be surprised how much of a strong role honesty plays in how your song comes across to an audience. Honesty, from a audience’s perspective, is simply this: Are you writing music that accurately reflects the person you are. You can spend an awful lot of time trying to figure out what your target audience wants […]