Foreigner - I Want to know What Love Is

What a Melody Should Do In a Song’s Pre-Chorus Section

A pre-chorus is an optional section that sits between the verse and chorus. There are several reasons why you might choose to use a pre-chorus in a song, the most common reasons being any combination of the following: The verse is quite short. The verse melody is very repetitive. The beginning of the chorus is […]

Yes - Concert Tour

The Pros and Cons of Using Songwriting Formulas

In songwriting, you’re probably using a formula if you find yourself thinking, “After I write something like this, I should follow it up with something like that..” A songwriting formula is a way of simplifying the process, as well as giving your listeners something predictable. The predictable nature of songwriting formulas is what songwriters dislike about them. […]

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 […]