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 […]

The Weeknd

Creating Effective Song Hooks

Most of the time when you talk about the hook of a song, you’re talking about the main, distinctive part of the chorus. There are many different ways to hook a listener, but you could argue that the chorus hook is the most important one, as it gives listeners the most memorable part of the […]

Songwriter

Imagining That Your Unfinished Song is Actually Already Finished

When every song you start seems to grind to a halt, and finishing it seems difficult or impossible, you’ve got the makings of writer’s block. Your musical imagination can help you through a creative block. But you’re likely thinking, “HOW can I use my musical imagination to help me, since it’s my lack of imagination […]

songwriter - guitarist

Committing to Writing Every Day

There is an expression that I keep on the front burner of my creative mind anytime I feel less than excited about writing music: Inspiration doesn’t create music; music creates inspiration. That’s not just a catchy phrase to me; I really believe that. The opposite, by the way, can be the case as well. But more […]

Songwriting - chord choices

Keeping Everything You Write — Even the Bad Stuff

For most songwriters, the act of songwriting is about 10 percent imagination/creation, and then 90 percent working and reworking those ideas until a song is complete. Because of that, don’t be surprised if the first ideas you get for a song seem a bit lame. It can take some time before everything sounds the way […]

Alan Parsons Project

Using Musical Motifs as a Kind of “Signature”

You may have heard the word motif before and wondered what it is, and how it might apply to songwriting. It’s a term that’s somewhat similar to hook — and that’s a word you’re probably a lot more familiar with. A hook is a musical idea that repeats throughout a song, though we often associate it chiefly […]