Lady Gaga, Bradley Cooper

Composing Opposites as a Songwriting Exercise

On those days when you’re between songs and don’t know what to write about, you can avoid frustration — and ultimately writer’s block — if you change your focus and work on some songwriting exercises. The end result of a songwriting exercise is usually a fragment — a fragment that might or might not ever […]

Guitar and music paper - Songwriting

Keep Looking: Second Ideas are Often Better Than First Ones

If you’ve had that happy circumstance where, while trying to write a song, you get some amazing ideas that appear all at once, and you manage to write that new song in one siting, within a half hour or so, I think that’s wonderful. It’s also rare. If hooks seem elusive when you’re trying to […]

Songwriter working out the next song

Songwriting, and Knowing Where to Start

If you’re a bit new to songwriting, there’s probably at least two things you’ve noticed already: Your first few songs may have come together quickly, and this is exciting. Your next few songs took hard work, and this is discouraging. Today, you don’t even know where to start. And because you don’t know where to start, […]

A Simple Way to Create an Interesting Verse Progression

If you like the chords-first songwriting process, but lately you’re coming up dry when it comes to good chord ideas, try this: Create a short, simple, 3-chord progression in some major key: I-IV-V-I (example: C  F  G  C) Repeat that progression. Follow it with the relative minor equivalent of that: vi-ii-iii-vi (example: Am  Dm  Em […]

MAGIC!

Good Melodies Start By Imagining a Short, Catchy Fragment

Every composer of music approaches the task differently, and values the many different components of music differently. For me, melody is a key ingredient. I always feel that if I can get a melody working first, I have a better chance of getting everything else coming together quicker. “The Essential Secrets of Songwriting” eBook bundle comes with […]

The Musical Cohesion That Comes From Motifs

If you’ve written a hook, and most if not all of the following aren’t true, you’ve not really written an effective one: It’s got a short and easy-to-remember melody. It incorporates a catchy rhythm. It uses a relatively simple, short chord progression. It usually appears, disappears, and reappears throughout a song. It’s fun to sing. When […]