Gotye - Eyes Wide Open

5 Tips For Writing a More Focused Lyric

It’s important to realize that what you’re dealing with in songwriting is getting an audience to feel something, more so than telling a story. True, your song will involve telling a kind of story– a lover who tosses you away, or perhaps a plea to the world for more kindness — but what it comes down […]

Songwriter's Block

When Your Creative Process Slams on the Brakes

There’s a analogy for writer’s block that I’ve seen, written by Patrica Huston, MD, in the January 1998 edition of Canadian Family Physician, that succinctly describes what happens when we can’t write anymore: Medical writer and editor Elizabeth Whalen suggests that writer’s block is an example of a “right brain-left brain” conflict. The right, or […]

Guitarist - songwriter

Writing Songs that Keep People Listening to the End

Good moments in music are good because they make us believe that even better moments are coming, and so we want to keep listening. The inverse of that is true as well: bad moments in music make us believe that nothing better is coming, and so we give up listening and click to hear something […]

Working With Bits of Failed Songs to Create Winners

There are ways to make sure that the various sections of your song connect well together. Some of them are obvious – like keeping a consistent key throughout, or keeping the tempo the same, and so on. It’s possible (and relatively common) to have various sections in different keys, but the connection comes from the choice […]

Songwriting with guitar

Song Lyrics: Having Two Favourite Processes

Do you find that you constantly get stuck at the lyric-stage of songwriting? When everything you write sounds wrong, it can leave you with practically no new direction to try. Compare that problem to a similar problem with writing melodies. If your melodies aren’t working, more improvisation should get you finally moving in the right […]

Songwriter-Guitarist

Chord Progressions, and the Strong-Fragile Concept

Last week I received an email from a blog reader, with a question regarding chord progressions. It’s similar to one that I receive a lot, and so I thought perhaps I would post it here, along with my answer [slightly edited in spots for clarity], and hope that it might be helpful for those of […]