Guitar - piano

Songwriting: Hiding the Good Stuff

When you hear a song that you really like, what is it that you like about it? The answer probably changes from song to song. It might be the way the melody sounds for one song, while for another it might be the lyrics. But those are superficial characteristics. (I don’t use the word superficial […]

The Chieftains

It Doesn’t Take Much

Every once in a while I write a blog post that refers to the importance of repetition in music, and how song melodies without repetition are problematic because they’re hard to remember. We already know the power and need for repetition in music when it comes to basic elements like the backing rhythms. Most songs […]

Song instrumental

What a Bridge Might Look Like In Your Song

The bridge of a song typically happens after the second chorus. There are lots of reasons you might use a bridge: To introduce a new melody. To introduce a new key area. To complete the lyric (where the bridge is followed by chorus repeats.) To extend the length of your song. Most of the time, […]

The Beatles

The Most Important Thing to Know About Song Form

You’d think, because practically every song we know is designed to be alternating verses and choruses (with other miscellaneous sections thrown in from time to time) that verses and choruses are a necessity for any good song. If you think that, you’d be wrong. That’s not to say that the design of your song isn’t […]

Piano - songwriter - theory

Using Music Theory to Communicate Your Musical Ideas

There’s a persistent myth in the songwriting world that the more music theory you know, the more your songwriting will suffer. If you believe this, you’re missing out on truly understanding what music theory is, and how you could be using it to your advantage. If you want some evidence for the power of music […]

songwriter - guitarist

Too Much of a Good Thing

This post contains some additional thoughts on my previous post about motifs. As you know, a motif is a repeating figure (melodic, rhythmic, or any other musical fragment) that adds strength to the structure of a song. But it begs the question: is it possible for a song to feature too many repeating things? When is […]