Troye Sivan

Pop’s Immediate Appeal Doesn’t Necessarily Mean That It’s Shallow

If hooks seem elusive when you’re trying to write a song, give this ebook a read: “Hooks and Riffs: How They Grab Attention, Make Songs Memorable, and Build Your Fan Base.” Get it separately, or as part of “The Essential Secrets of Songwriting 10-eBook Bundle.” On CBC Radio 1 last week, host Tom Power interviewed […]

Songwriter with guitar

Diversifying Your Songwriting Style

Among other admirable qualities, the individual members of The Beatles were known for the astonishing diversity of their writing styles. For every song they wrote, they threw out the template and came up with a new song that bore little similarity to past ones. That meant that every new hit had a freshness. Every new […]

Singer-Songwriter

Making Others Care About Your Songs

Everyone has their own motivation for becoming a songwriter. For most, and likely for you, it’s a variation on the need for self-expression. With every song, you have a thought, a feeling or an opinion that you want to express. Who knows how many possible problems or errors that can be committed when writing a […]

Balancing the Familiar With The Strange

If you’re trying to create chord progressions that stray pleasantly away from the standard I-IV-V-I kind, you need to read “Creative Chord Progressions.” Right now, that eBook is FREE with your purchase of “The Essential Secrets of Songwriting 10-eBook Bundle” I learned something important about teaching very early in my career: if you want people […]

Kacey Musgraves

Writing Songs Reminiscent of an Earlier Time

You hear a lot of criticism these days about pop music, and how everything sounds the same. Not enough creativity, no one going out on a limb. In reality, pop music — at least the kind that makes it to the Billboard Hot 100 — has always been populated with songs that sound the same. […]

Blake Shelton - Boys 'Round Here

The Role of Cleverness in Popular Songwriting

When we use the word “clever” in songwriting, we’re usually talking about lyrics. In that context, a clever lyric means any one of the following: There’s a double meaning going on that might not be immediately obvious. (i.e., the song isn’t about what it appears to be about) There are common words being used in […]