Song energy

Song Energy Needs to Move Up and Down

When we think of the term musical energy, we might immediately think of loudness and tempo. But as a songwriter, you need to develop a slightly more sophisticated understanding of how musical energy works, and what it can do to make people want to listen to — and come back to — your songs. If you’re […]

Sad songs

Writing Sad Songs (and Why You’d Want To Do That)

There is research out there that tells us that people like listening to sad music. It doesn’t necessarily bring them down, and in fact can have an opposite, buoyant effect. That’s because as listeners, we want to feel something, and as long as whatever the sad song is about isn’t describing our own state of affairs […]

Sam Cooke

Coming Up With Fresh Song Topics When You’re Out of Ideas

Deciding what your next song could or should be about can stop your creative process in its tracks if you let it. You’ll be happy to know that great songs don’t need to be profound. True, some of the songs we acknowledge as being the greatest ones are about deep, philosophical/social issues: “Like a Rolling […]

Sarah McLachlan

The Main Differences Between Verse 1 and Verse 2

Figuring out the differences between verses and choruses can be tricky enough, but sometimes the biggest problem you’ll have is figuring out what to do with a second verse in your song. And because songs are all about momentum and musical flow, the danger with a weak verse 2 is that the musical flow can […]

Guitar, paper and pencil

Comparing Emotional and Narrative Characteristics of a Good Song Lyric

When you read a lyric sheet, it may not occur to you that the best lyrics move back and forth between words and phrases that are observational and narrative, to words and phrases that display emotion. Thousands of songwriters are using “The Essential Secrets of Songwriting 10-eBook Bundle” to improve their songwriting technique. Become the […]

Abstract music

Complex Lyrics: Emotion Versus Meaning

Don’t miss out on a free copy of “Use Your Words! Developing a Lyrics-First Songwriting Process.” It’s free when you purchase “The Essential Secrets of Songwriting 10-eBook Bundle” If you like writing complex lyrics, where the meaning isn’t likely to be immediately obvious to your audience, you’ve got one main problem to overcome: to stimulate […]