Songwriter improvisation

Can You Have Bad Songwriting Instincts?

When we talk about an instinct, we’re usually referring to something that’s born within us, something for which we have an obvious talent or aptitude. In common usage, we usually take the term even further and say that an instinct is something that we do without thinking. (“A bird flew toward my car as I […]

Pensive songwriter

What Are You Doing to Improve?

What are you doing to improve as a songwriter? You’d probably answer that question by saying, “Well, I’m trying to write more“, or “I’m trying to become more consistent…” That’s one way of saying that you don’t really have a plan. No one improves without change. You want to get better at baseball? You change the […]

The Difference between Good and Great in Songwriting

On the Songwriting Reddit recently, this question popped up: “What trait separates ‘good’ songwriters from ‘great’ songwriters?” It’s generated many responses, and some of them are quite good, I think: When the idea is just so clear and the music matches the lyrical aspect, making something foreign to the listener seem relatable… To be a […]

Guitarist - Songwriter

Songwriting Excellence Comes From Discipline and Consistency

Writing a great song is the dream of every songwriter, but one excellent song doesn’t necessarily point to consistency. There are many one-hit wonders, many songwriters who have been able to write something amazing, but have been unable to follow it up with another excellent song. I write about consistency a lot on this blog, […]

Songwriter

Thinking About Your Songwriting Process

What do you hate about the notion of a songwriting process? If you find that having a process stifles your creative flow, then you’re confusing the term with songwriting formula. In songwriting, a formula means “once I’ve done this in my song, I should probably do that…”, and that can stifle your sense of creativity. But that’s […]

Eric Clapton

Consistency: The Most Important Songwriting Quality

The term one-hit wonder, in the realm of music, refers to a performer that manages to make the charts only once in their career. The actual definition is complex, but suffice it to say that it typically refers to a performer or band that makes one appearance on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, and no other appearances. Less […]