Keyboard - Chord Progressions

Simplicity as a Starting Point

As a songwriter you may be attracted to the notion of writing something complex, something that really gets your audience thinking. Complex chords, intricate harmonies, thoughtful lyrics, melodies that surprise… it’s all part of what makes your 4-minute song something that will stimulate the imagination of your listeners. The problem with complexity in songwriting is […]

Writing About What You Don’t Know

You’ll hear people say that there’s a kind of honesty in songwriting that comes from writing about the things that you know and have experienced. When you write about things you don’t know, they say, there’s an insincerity problem that you need to overcome. I’m not sure I believe that. I like to take a […]

Audience at a rock concert

The Power of the People

I’m not a photographer (not a good one, anyway), but I’d rather see photos with people in them than without, no matter how exciting the landmark is that I’m shooting. The simple reason is that we make connections to people more so than to inanimate objects. There’s more to a song hook than meets the […]

Love songs

Good Lyrics Create (Rather Than Describe) Emotions

I read an interview with Paul McCartney once where he talked about the choice of words in “She Loves You.” In particular, he and Lennon considered it a bit risky to be singing a song about “he” and “you”, since most love songs put the singer front and centre. In other words, musical logic dictates […]

Singer-Songwriter recording

Expressing and Generating Emotion In a Song

This is a tricky but very true concept: A good song generates emotion. It may also express emotion, but it’s possible to express emotion without generating it. So you can spend a lot of time in a lyric telling the world how you feel, and you may have wasted a lot of time… if you haven’t done […]

Tracy Chapman

Using the Way Your Melodies Move to Enhance Musical Meaning

Thousands of songwriters are using “The Essential Secrets of Songwriting 10-eBook Bundle” to improve their songwriting technique. Become the most consistent songwriter you can be! If you like melody-first songwriting processes, you know there are several ways to proceed. Here’s one method, for example: You coming up with a melody, or fragment(s) of melody. You […]