Hal Blaine

Being Good, Being Unique, Being Famous

I think it’s fair to say that no one becomes famous for simply being good. There are lots of really great musicians — and I’m thinking specifically of studio musicians — but unless you take the time to look them up on Wikipedia, you’re not likely ever to know them. The ones that get famous […]

The Difference between Good and Great in Songwriting

On the Songwriting Reddit recently, this question popped up: “What trait separates ‘good’ songwriters from ‘great’ songwriters?” It’s generated many responses, and some of them are quite good, I think: When the idea is just so clear and the music matches the lyrical aspect, making something foreign to the listener seem relatable… To be a […]

Songwriting guitarist

Songwriting: Moving Beyond Random Excellence

What role does chance play in the writing of a good song? Since good songwriting is guided by principles and not rules, there’s undoubtedly going to be a certain amount of random good luck. On that particular day, at that particular moment, your imagination created that melodic idea. There’s no way to get around it: good songwriting involves […]

Songwriting - List

Good Songwriting and Objective Listening

It’s a dangerous can of worms to open if you dare ask someone, “What is good music?” Most of the time, people misunderstand the question and think you’re really asking, “What are your favourite songs?”, or perhaps “What is your favourite style (genre) of music?” There is an important difference between “What is good music?” […]

Pianist - Songwriter

Songwriting: Your Best First Advancements

What’s the most effective way to learn songwriting? Is it like other topics that you might learn in a college school? I taught music for years in public school and then at university, but I don’t believe that school is the best way to learning everything. “Chord Progression Formulas” show you how to create dozens […]

Guitarist - Songwriter

Songwriting Excellence Comes From Discipline and Consistency

Writing a great song is the dream of every songwriter, but one excellent song doesn’t necessarily point to consistency. There are many one-hit wonders, many songwriters who have been able to write something amazing, but have been unable to follow it up with another excellent song. I write about consistency a lot on this blog, […]