Guitarist - songwriter on stage

Songwriting and Other One-Sided Conversations

If you ask songwriters to describe the most difficult part of starting any songwriting process, I’m sure many — perhaps most — would say, “Deciding what to write about.” A song is a kind of social interaction. There are vague similarities between singing a song you’ve written, and having a conversation with someone, but with the […]

Songwriting and Line Drawing

I’ve written a few articles on this blog about the notion of drawing a line that represents your melody (like this article I wrote a few years ago). It’s not just that it’s kind of neat to see your melody sketched out as a line; there is a real purpose and benefit from seeing your […]

Guitar - piano

Following Your Heart

Everyone’s got an opinion. When it comes to your own songs, you hope everyone’s opinion is a good one. But if it isn’t, it can be discouraging. I practically never ask people what they think of anything I’ve ever written. That’s certainly not to say that I don’t ask for help or advice. When I was […]

Ed Sheeran

The Proper Progression of Song Lyrics: A Checklist

Take a look at pop song lyrics, and you’ll see everything from straight-ahead, easy-to-follow, to something more abstract. The easy-to-follow lyrics might be something like “Thinking Out Loud” (Ed Sheeran, Amy Wadge, Julian Williams): When your legs don’t work like they used to before And I can’t sweep you off of your feet Will your […]

Tom Petty

Comparing Lyrics From Different Song Genres

Get the eBook bundle that thousands of songwriters are using to improve their songwriting technique. No matter what genre of songwriting you examine, you’ll find a few commonalities when it comes to lyric writing: Good lyrics usually use common, everyday words. Good lyrics usually use a conversational style. Good lyrics exhibit an ebb and flow […]

Jimmy Webb - Glen Campbell

The Lyrical Power of Wichita Lineman

This week, with the passing of legendary singer-songwriter Glen Campbell, we’ve been hearing a lot about some of the songs that made him famous as a solo artist: “Rhinestone Cowboy”, “Galveston”, “Gentle On My Mind”, and “Wichita Lineman”, among many, many others. “Wichita Lineman” was written by Jimmy Webb, and it’s the song I’ve been […]