Pensive songwriter

And Now For Something Completely Different

If every song you write bears a striking resemblance to the ones that came before it, you’ll struggle to build on your fan base. That’s because your fans will think they’ve heard it all before, and start to lose the belief that you’ll come up with something different. It’s tricky, though. For most singer-songwriters, if […]

Journey - Don't Stop Believin'

Don’t Fear Strangeness In Your Songwriting… As Long As It Works

Good songwriting almost always comes about by following some basic principles. Those principles are not cast in stone, of course. If they were, we’d call them rules. For some songs, the principles seem obvious and clear, and you don’t have to do a lot of thinking to know why those songs work so well. For […]

Guitarist - Songwriter

If Your Songwriting Process Grinds to a Halt After the First Few Notes

It’s not unusual to have times when the music just seems to flow out of your creative mind, and then times when you can’t seem to come up with anything that sounds good at all. It’s the up and down of what it means to be a songwriter, and it’s normal. If you’re stuck trying […]

Feist - 1234

Creating a Song From 3 Short Melodic Ideas

Here’s an alternative to always thinking in the verse-chorus format: try creating three short melodic fragments, all in the same key, and then putting them together to create a complete song. Don’t worry or think about which one is the verse or chorus. If you want a real example of what I’m talking about, you […]

Song Form

What Songwriters Need to Know About Song Form

Form is one of those words that can cause songwriters’ eyes to glaze over. It sounds like a term that’s only going to help other people understand what you’ve written, but not help the songwriter so much. Got a melody but don’t know how to add chords to make it come alive? “How to Harmonize a […]

Piano - songwriter - theory

Writing a Song With Unrelated Sections

You might assume that a verse should have some connection to the chorus that follows it — something that makes the verse and chorus sound like musical partners. Creating musical partners of various sorts is usually a goal in good songwriting. But (with the possible exception of the lyrics) it is possible to write a verse and […]