Lorde - Liability

The Laser Focus of Good Song Lyrics

Good lyrics have a strong sense of focus — of purpose and direction. It might help to make that statement the opposite way: bad lyrics wander about without being overly clear about what’s even being said. To say that a song lyric has focus means that it points toward a specific topic and doesn’t stray needlessly. […]

Gently Rising Song Melodies Create Musical Momentum

When a song melody moves upward, you hear an intensifying of musical energy. That’s because of the nature of the human voice. The higher we sing, the more tension we hear in the voice. You know that when you’re singing at the very top of your range that you hear that bit of strain. In […]

Writing Songs That Use Three Simple Melodies

I’ve recently returned to listening to an album that really impressed me when it was released in 2015: “Carrie & Lowell,” by American singer-songwriter Sufjan Stevens. I hope you take the time to give it a listen. What I love the most about it is its transparency of sound. With simple guitar and keyboard accompaniments, […]

Connecting Melodic Ideas Between a Verse and Chorus

How much of a connection should a listener hear between the verse and chorus? In other words, except for tempo, key and general feel, can a verse melody set up a chorus well if it bears little to no similarity to that chorus melody? Take the classic hit “Witchy Woman” (Don Henley, Bernie Leadon). Compare […]

Guitarist - Songwriter

The Problem With Stream of Consciousness Lyric-Writing

Let’s say that you’re working out a lyric that tries to explain to your listeners how you’re feeling about some aspect of your life. It might be that you’re going through a rough patch, let’s say, and you want the audience to feel something of what you’re facing. So the lyrics come to you quickly […]

Songwriting Tips and Tricks: Contouring a Melody

If your song melodies sound like random, aimless wanderings, here are some ideas for curing your problems. _____________ Download “The Essential Secrets of Songwriting” 6-eBook Bundle, and solve your songwriting problems TODAY. _____________ Take a look at any successful song melody from any era, and you’ll see almost universally that it has the following characteristics: A general sense […]