Songwriter - Synth

Your Songwriting Success: It Always Comes Down to the Quality of the Song

It may seem to you that those songwriters who have had great success just have the right people in their corner. They’ve had the best chances, and quite possibly a healthy dose of good luck. And while all those things are probably true, there’s one thing that’s got to be in place before any of […]

The Beatles

The Older Generation Has Much To Teach Us

There’s a fascinating story about the Baroque composer J.S. Bach (1685-1750), who reportedly walked 450 kilometers (900 kilometers round trip!) to visit a composer that he considered to be one of his strongest influences: Dieterich Buxtehude. Buxtehude lived in the city of Lübeck. In those days, of course, you couldn’t just put a recording on […]

Singer-Songwriter

Using Your Own Good Songs as Models For Your Next Good Ones

If you like starting songs by working with a chord progression, you need to read “Writing a Song From a Chord Progression.” It will give you the pros and cons of this songwriting method, and help you create songs that really work! Many years ago I was a band teacher for a junior high school. […]

Headphones

Good Songwriting From a Listener’s Point of View

Great songwriting, from a listener’s point of view, flies under the radar, by which I mean that the best songs are great without making it obvious why they’re great. A song might have a gorgeous melody, but the average listener won’t know exactly why it’s so beautiful. It might have a really captivating sequence of chords, […]

Kate Bush

Why Old Songs Like “Running Up That Hill” Reappear as Hits Today?

It’s exciting to hear a song that was a hit several decades ago make a reappearance on the Billboard Hot 100. The latest example of this is Kate Bush’s “Running Up That Hill” from her 1985 album “Hounds of Love.” It’s exciting because in a funny sort of way it’s like a validation that we […]

Guitarist - Songwriter

There’s No Such Thing as a Killer Chord Progression

The notion of the so-called killer chord progression is a bit of a myth that I used to hear songwriters discuss years ago. It’s a myth, not because chord progressions can’t be powerful and epic, but because songs are nearly always about a partnership of many different elements. Trying to get the chords-first songwriting process […]