Composing Your Own Descant Melody

Every year I have the best of intentions to write a post or two regarding writing holiday music, good and early so that songwriters can actually use the information! And then, usually due to my own busy schedule this time of year, I don’t get it done. But I thought I’d write this quick one […]

Songwriter - guitarist

Pre-Chorus and Bridge: The Similarities and the Differences

The most recognizable section of practically any song will be the chorus. That’s because it’s likely to contain the “hookiest” part – the melodic/rhythmic idea that everyone will recognize. The verse melody is also going to be recognizable for the fact that it starts the song — it’s the first thing people hear. Get “The Essential […]

Imogen Heap Recording Tital

A Powerful Way To Plan An Entire Song

If you are a fan of the music of J.S. Bach, you might know that he often took the shape of a small melodic fragment, and then planned for the entire piece of music to also adopt that shape. Here’s how that might work. If you listen to the beginning of Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. […]

Passenger - Let Her Go

The Vital Partnership of Verses and Choruses

There’s nothing like the term “song form” to have one’s eyes glaze over. In songwriting, you just want to get going with your writing. And you’ve probably written dozens of songs up to this point without even giving the term “form” a second (or even a first) thought. When we talk about form, we’re talking about […]

Momentum and Musical Energy: What the Pre-Chorus Does For a Song

There’s a quick answer to why you’d ever use a pre-chorus in your song: by the time you get to the end of the verse, it feels too soon for the chorus. A pre-chorus is that little optional section that sits in between the verse and chorus. Choruses tend to be more energetic than verses, and […]

Carpentry tools

Songwriting Lessons from the Unlikeliest Sources

I don’t know if you feel the same way, but sometimes I learn the best lessons regarding music by thinking of something completely unmusical. Metaphors speak loudly and meaningfully to me. I like building things out of wood. It’s something I love, even if I’m not doing it at a professional level. But with every […]