Phil Collins

Getting Beyond the Labels

Putting a label on something is usually meant to be a help. You might put an address label on a package you intend to mail, for example. That’s obviously helpful. You might, after years of aches and pains, discover that you have arthritis. Labelling your aches and pains gives doctors a clearer path to treatment, […]

String section from a symphony orchestra

Travel Day

I’ve had my head a bit out of the songwriting/composition world in the past couple of days, as I had a couple of big concerts on my schedule yesterday. First was a concert where I conducted Symphony Nova Scotia in a performance for seniors, and that’s always a lot of fun. Most of the time […]

Piano-playing songwriter

Using a Diminished-ii Chord in Major Key Songs

If your song is in a major key, you know that the ii-chord is going to be minor. So if your song is in the key of C major, the chord based on the note D will be Dm (D-F-A). And you’ll be using progressions that might be like the following: C  F  Dm  G […]

songwriting collaboration

When Are Songwriting Collaborations a Good Idea?

The FREE DEAL continues… Get “Use Your Words!” free with your purchase of “The Essential Secrets of Songwriting 10-eBook Bundle”, and learn how to develop a lyrics-first songwriting process. First, the easy answer: a songwriting collaboration is never a good idea if it means making compromises that you aren’t happy to make. So if you’re […]

Breaking Free from 4/4 Time in Your Songwriting

Since the vast majority of songs (probably 98% or more) that make it to the charts in any genre use a time signature of 4/4, we can surmise that producers think that that most common of time signatures is part of a winning formula. Most of the time professional producers get these things right, but […]