Sad songs

Writing Sad Songs (and Why You’d Want To Do That)

There is research out there that tells us that people like listening to sad music. It doesn’t necessarily bring them down, and in fact can have an opposite, buoyant effect. That’s because as listeners, we want to feel something, and as long as whatever the sad song is about isn’t describing our own state of affairs […]

Guitar and paper for songwriting

When You’re Stuck Trying to Come Up With a Good Song Topic

Brainstorming is a great mental exercise in the creative arts. Brainstorming requires you to think quickly and to minimize judgment. When you work this way, your process is being fuelled by pure imagination, and that’s when you get to see what the inner workings of your creative brain can come up with. If you find […]

songwriter

The Advantages of a Lyrics-First Songwriting Process

In my last post, “Finding Your Best Starting Point”, I offered suggestions for how to build a songwriting process when you’ve got a small fragment of music as your starting point. One of those fragments might be a bit of lyric. For many songwriters, starting the process with lyrics can yield great results. There are […]

Writing About What You Don’t Know

You’ll hear people say that there’s a kind of honesty in songwriting that comes from writing about the things that you know and have experienced. When you write about things you don’t know, they say, there’s an insincerity problem that you need to overcome. I’m not sure I believe that. I like to take a […]

songwriter - lyricist

You’ve Got the Emotions, But You Can’t Put Them Into Words

Power up your lyric-writing abilities with “Use Your Words! Developing a Lyrics-First Songwriting Process.” It’s a FREE add-on to “The Essential Secrets of Songwriting 10-eBook Bundle” What do you do when you’ve got the song’s topic, the basic story, and a whole pile of emotion, but you just can’t find the words to make it […]

Amanda McBroom

Controlling the Emotional Build of a Verse-Only Song

Some songs make use of a verse-only construction, and Bette Midler’s hit “The Rose” (written by Amanda McBroom) is a good example of this. There are other songs that are mainly verse-only, with a short one-line refrain, like Lennon & McCartney’s “I Want to Hold Your Hand.” Those two song formats, verse-only and verse-refrain, both have […]