Tony Orlando and Dawn

What Can Kill a Song’s Staying Power?

Some songs are still with us fifty or more years after they hit the top of the charts (Smokey Robinson’s “The Tears of a Clown“, for example), but other songs, even ones that were big hits when they came out, are rarely heard anymore, not because they aren’t good, but… well, it’s hard to say […]

Jack Johnson

One of the Best Reasons to Add a Bridge to Your Song

There’s more to a song hook than meets the ear… a lot more. “Hooks and Riffs: How They Grab Attention, Make Songs Memorable, and Build Your Fan Base” is a vital manual for any serious songwriter. A bridge is an optional section of a song that usually happens either: …after the second chorus in songs […]

Rock Concert

The Necessity of a Powerful Chorus Hook

I don’t at all want to give the impression that the chorus hook is so important that it makes whatever you do in a verse unimportant. It most certainly is important that everything you write is something people want to listen to. But when it comes to standard pop song formats that use a series of […]

Bruce Springsteen

Simplicity Is Often the Main Ingredient in Songwriting Innovation

Back in 1982 Bruce Springsteen released “Nebraska,” his sixth studio album. It’s the perfect example of “barebones.” Springsteen played all the instruments himself: guitar, harmonica, mandolin, glockenspiel, tambourine, Hammond organ and synths. He even recorded the album himself at home on a small 4-track Teac cassette machine. Stuck with how to get chords that fit […]

Peter Frampton

Switching From Major to Minor in a Song Isn’t Common, But Has a Powerful Effect

Songs are our best teachers, but what if you can’t tell WHY some songs work so well? “The Essential Secrets of Songwriting” 10-eBook Bundle reveals eleven important principles of songwriting, and how they show up in practically every song ever written. Immediate download. If you’re planning to write a song that contrasts major and minor […]

Musical Energy

The Best Songs Often Sound Spontaneous

The more you read about The Beatles and how they put their songs together (from about “Rubber Soul” onward, at least), the more you get the sense that each component of the song was planned, calculated and thought about. Their first album, “Please Please Me,” was recorded quickly, mainly all on one day. But as […]