Rob Thomas

Increasing Musical Energy In a Song

It’s a basic principle of good songwriting that musical energy should either stay the same or increase — rarely decrease — as a song progresses. If you listen to the start of Verse 1 end of most songs, and then skip ahead to the final moments, you’ll notice that an energy build has taken place. […]

Recharging Your Creative Batteries

I haven’t been doing a lot of writing over the past week or two, but that’s normal for me when it comes to those couple of weeks around Christmas and New Years. I love writing, but it’s not necessarily my go-to activity for relaxing. Are you trying to make your lyrics more important in your […]

Singer - Songwriter - Lyricist

Getting Your Verse to Properly Prepare the Chorus

What are the main differences between a verse and chorus that you should be concerned about as a songwriter? You’re likely aware of all the commonly-known ones: Keep the verse melodic range a bit below the chorus. Allow melody notes of the chorus to elongate, especially on title words. Prevent your verse lyric from getting […]

Julia Michaels - "Issues"

Getting a Song Working Before the Recording Process

When we talk about musical energy or momentum, we’re often talking about how loud, quick or rhythmically complex a song is. We think of songs that have energy as songs that get us moving. But in fact, energy is more complicated than that. All songs have energy, even the very quiet, slow ballads that are […]

Bruce Springsteen

The Importance of Balancing Section Lengths Within a Song

You’ll hear experienced songwriters and producers say that the chorus of a song should arrive before the 1-minute mark. This is particularly true of songs with moderate to quicker tempos. Slower ballads can tolerate longer verses, and so it might take a bit longer. That guideline is in place because producers like to ensure that […]

Taylor Swift - I Did Something Bad

Using the Verse to Power Up the Chorus Hook

For most songs, if you speak of the hook, you’re talking about the chorus, and most likely the start of the chorus. Sometimes the hooky bit might be the end of the chorus, like Jimmy Gilmer and the Fireballs’ 1963 hit “Sugar Shack”. For pop songs, the hook has been a perennially essential ingredient. Because […]