Guitarist on Stage

Some Thoughts on Songwriting and Uniqueness

This morning I retweeted a great article by producer/engineer Bobby Owsinski, “It’s Getting Harder And Harder To Write A Song Without Committing Plagiarism.” The article makes the point that because the judicial system now considers similarity of the basic feel of a song to be considered in a plagiarism case, along with melody and lyrics, […]

Guitarist - Songwriter

The Three Steps to Creating an Emotional Response in Listeners

Sometimes the idea for a song will hit you on the spur of the moment, and you’ll sit down with your guitar and try to flesh out that idea, and see if anything comes of it. But at other times, you know that you need to write something, but you don’t have a particular idea […]

David Myles

What Downward-Moving Melodic Ideas Do For Your Music

Most of the people that listen to your songs will immediately pick up the mood of the music. In fact, the mood — the feeling they get when they hear your song — is the first thing they’ll experience. But they don’t often know what generates mood in music. Are you ready to have LYRICS […]

Sad songs

How Emotion and Music Intersect

This is a bit of a pet peeve of mine, and so I’ll state this up front, and then give you some additional thoughts: Good music is not meant to express emotion; good music IS meant to create emotion. I want to tell you a bit more about this. To say that a good song […]

Eric Clapton

A Change of Tempo Can Help You Blast Through a Creative Logjam

When you’re dealing with a creative block, you’ve probably discovered that making a big change in your songwriting process can be rewarding, and you’ve likely tried most of them: Speedwriting (stream of consciousness). Composing on a new (or otherwise unfamiliar) instrument. Partnering up with another songwriter. Changing key from major to minor, or vice versa. […]

Joni Mitchell

Controlling the Mood of a Song

Mood is one of the first things that’s conveyed by music. Listeners pick up the mood via the partnership of all the various song components, but mostly through: key choice (major versus minor); tempo; melodic shape; instrumental choices and effects; lyrics. I purposely placed lyrics at the bottom of that list, even though the lyrics […]