Ed Sheeran

Making Sure Your Lyrics Connect With Your Audience

Probably the most important characteristic of a good song lyric, no matter the genre, is the casual nature of the words you use. For that reason, most song lyrics won’t read like highbrow poetry, but rather like the transcription of a casual conversation. Are you ready to have LYRICS take a much more important role […]

Eric Clapton

A Change of Tempo Can Help You Blast Through a Creative Logjam

When you’re dealing with a creative block, you’ve probably discovered that making a big change in your songwriting process can be rewarding, and you’ve likely tried most of them: Speedwriting (stream of consciousness). Composing on a new (or otherwise unfamiliar) instrument. Partnering up with another songwriter. Changing key from major to minor, or vice versa. […]

Pumped Up Audience

Building an Audience For Complex, Innovative Songs

If you like writing songs that are on the cutting edge — innovative, creative and complex — you already know that there’s a problem to solve: building an audience for your music. It can sometimes help to look at other singer-songwriters and bands that have solved this issue. For most, though, the solution was to […]

Eric Carmen

What Can You Really Learn From an Old Song?

From our standpoint here in 2021, it may be hard to hear the difference between a song written and recorded today, and one that was done, say, three years ago. Ten years ago? You start to hear some differences. And if you go back a few decades, to the 80s for example, there are lots […]

Chilliwack

An Appreciation of “Chilliwack”

I’ve always been a fan of the Canadian rock band “Chilliwack“, which had several hit songs on the charts starting in the early 70s. They went through several stylistic changes, starting in a kind of progressive-influence rock, then settling into a straight ahead rock style by the mid-seventies. Trying to get a handle on writing […]

Guitar and piano

Revoicing Your Chords to Find Better Melodies

Historically, music was all about melody, not chord progressions. In fact, if you go back in time a few hundred years, let’s say to the 1400s or 1500s, the concept of “harmony” was a bit different from what we have today. In those days, “harmony” was what happened when various melodies were played at the […]