Oscar Peterson Trio

Fixing Songwriting Errors Before Recording

If you ever listen to an old 1950s-era recording of jazz pianist Oscar Peterson, you’re probably hearing him with his trio which included Herb Ellis on guitar and Ray Brown on bass. No drummer at that time, but the three of them played with such a powerful sense of beat and rhythm that you don’t […]

Songwriter

Don’t Give Up So Easily

Once you’ve written a song, you like to think of it as your baby, something that had a gestation period, and now — here it is! Except… you’re not very happy with it. The song’s done, but it just sounds lame to you. The first step in dealing with a song that doesn’t work very […]

Singer - Songwriter

Songwriting and Line Drawing

I’ve written a few articles on this blog about the notion of drawing a line that represents your melody (like this article I wrote a few years ago). It’s not just that it’s kind of neat to see your melody sketched out as a line; there is a real purpose and benefit from seeing your […]

Guitarist - Songwriter

Technique and Musicianship: Improving as a Songwriter

If you’re an instrumentalist, you know that practice is an important part of getting better. Practice requires you to put a magnifying glass on your technique — and sometimes your musicianship — and focus in on what you find difficult. Some instrumentalists maintain that they make their best improvements by simply playing, rather than by working out […]

Solving Musical Problems Is Best Done Before Production Happens

In 2005, when I wrote my first eBook, “The Essential Secrets of Songwriting”, I was planning to call it “The Essential Principles of Songwriting.” After some considerable thought, I reasoned that most people would be turned off by the word “principles”, and opted instead for “secrets.” To my mind, however, it conveys the same thing, […]