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 […]

Piano and guitar - songwriter

The Unfinished Song: Turning Frustration Into Success

These days you might be listening to Handel’s “Messiah,” and even if you don’t know that work, you no doubt know his “Hallelujah Chorus” which ends the second part of the oratorio. “Messiah” is a lengthy work consisting of fifty-three movements, and listening to the entire piece will take you more than two hours. (Most […]

Writing great song lyrics

Songwriting Happens in Two Stages: First Idea, and Process

If you ask any songwriter which process they use, they’ll probably tell you that it differs from song to song. For most, it really depends on which musical fragment makes its first appearance in their musical mind. If it’s a bit of lyric, they’ll most likely to start by filling out that fragment with more […]