Songwriter

Choose a Good Topic, But Concentrate on the Quality of the Lyric

Believe it or not, the specific topic of a song isn’t all that crucial to its success. “Hotel California” is a hugely popular song from the 70s, and there were considerable debates at the time of its release as to what it was actually about. The confusion of listeners didn’t damage the listeners’ ability to […]

Phil Collins

Melodies That Are Easy to Sing Are Usually Easy to Remember

If you’ve written a melody that’s hard for people to remember, it’s difficult to imagine it as something that would make any sort of splash in the music world. If people need to hear it many times before they can start humming or singing it, it’s probably missing the opportunity to make a strong connection. […]

Guitarist - Songwriter - Lyricist

How Much of a Lyric Needs to be Understood?

Some lyrics are stories, and so there’s a simple answer to the question of how much of a lyric needs to be understood: darn near all of it. The beauty of story lyrics is in the way you say things, and the imagery you use. There’s more to a song hook than meets the ear… a […]

Joni Mitchell

Creating Beauty Within a Song

Beauty is one of those song characteristics that is incredibly hard to define, but we seem to know it when we hear it. Not every great song is beautiful. That’s because as long as a song makes an emotional connection to the listener, it’s usually going to work. Therefore, whatever we might define as beauty becomes […]

Bruno Mars - The Lazy Song

Making the Best Use of Motifs in Your Songwriting

For most songwriters, defining a hook is simple: it’s that catchy bit that makes up the main part of the chorus. It usually comes back over and over because that’s what choruses do — they reappear after every verse, and then again after the bridge. A hook is good if it has a melodic shape […]

Audience at a rock concert

The Power of the People

I’m not a photographer (not a good one, anyway), but I’d rather see photos with people in them than without, no matter how exciting the landmark is that I’m shooting. The simple reason is that we make connections to people more so than to inanimate objects. There’s more to a song hook than meets the […]