songwriting in isolation

Isolation is a Two-Edged Sword For Songwriters

We’ve all come through an extraordinary time. The pandemic has completely changed the world for those in the music industry, especially for those who count on live audiences in a public venue. If you’re a member of a band, it’s meant that you had to immediately change what you do and how you do it. […]

Pumped Up Audience

Building an Audience For Complex, Innovative Songs

If you like writing songs that are on the cutting edge — innovative, creative and complex — you already know that there’s a problem to solve: building an audience for your music. It can sometimes help to look at other singer-songwriters and bands that have solved this issue. For most, though, the solution was to […]

Freddie Mercury

How to Move From Stale to Innovative as a Songwriter

If you’re trying to develop an innovative songwriting style, a major impediment is one that’s often unnoticeable: you’re listening only to music from your own genre of choice. So if you’re a country-folk songwriter, and you’re only listening to the latest and greatest country-folk singer-songwriters, it makes developing your own style immensely difficult. Innovation is almost […]

Songwriter on a new path

Comfort Zone

We humans have an innate tendency to stay within our comfort zone, at least most of us. There are risk-takers out there, but more often than not we like predictability in almost everything we do. There’s nothing wrong with staying within a comfort zone, but if you’re a songwriter, writing the same way — staying […]

Books and music

Those First Few Seconds

When I’m buying a real, “hold it in your hand” book from a bookstore, particularly if it’s fiction, I have a confession to make: I am highly influenced by two things: the cover design, and the first paragraph. I wonder if it makes me seem shallow, but so be it. I notice that I just […]

Songwriting: On Being Safely Innovative

The danger of innovation in songwriting is the possibility of losing fans. They know what to expect from you, but suddenly you’re moving in a new direction that they don’t like. The danger of not being innovative is that you won’t build a fan base, or at least build it painfully slowly. I maintain that the […]