When Improvising Doesn’t Result in a Song

Do you ever find that you spend a lot of time improvising on ideas, but often not able to come up with a song? Improvising plays a crucial role in musical composition of any style, so what’s happening when you’re improvising but there’s no song to show for your efforts? An analogy might help here. […]

songwriter

The Break Between Songwriting Sessions – What’s Optimum?

A number of years ago I was teaching music in the public school system. I had several choirs. One of them, a medium-sized high school auditioned choir (45 members), rehearsed with me once a week for two hours. Another was a smaller jazz choir (20 members), which rehearsed twice a week, but only 35 minutes […]

Guitar and music paper - Songwriting

Keep Looking: Second Ideas are Often Better Than First Ones

If you’ve had that happy circumstance where, while trying to write a song, you get some amazing ideas that appear all at once, and you manage to write that new song in one siting, within a half hour or so, I think that’s wonderful. It’s also rare. If hooks seem elusive when you’re trying to […]

Cool W.A. Mozart

Mozart’s 7 Tips for Songwriters

Mozart improvised. Mozart had good days and bad days. In fact, much of Mozart’s compositional process, if you research the topic, looks a lot like the kind of songwriting process we see today: a lot of experimenting, keeping good ideas, throwing out bad ones, and so on. So let’s take a look at some of […]

Songwriting frustration

When Songwriting Ideas Don’t Result in a Finished Song

Most songwriters are well acquainted with the frustration of having a great song idea, but having it fizzle out. You had such high hopes, but now your idea seems to have gone nowhere. To properly address this frustration, we need to look at two aspects of it: Why the idea went nowhere; and What to […]

Guitarist - Songwriter

How to Choose Chords That Best Suit Your Song

How do you know that the chords you’re experimenting with are going to be the best choice for the song you’re working on? We know that certain chords — it’s probably more accurate to say certain chord combinations — create specific moods and support certain attitudes in a listener. So getting the right chord combinations is […]