Singer-songwriter

Five Ways to Write Better Songs

There are many ways to improve your skills as a songwriter, and the best songwriters use a combination of many. These will include: Discussions with other songwriters. Discussions with other non-songwriting musicians (including players, producers, engineers, etc.) Studying the craft of songwriting (via written texts, videos, one-on-one sessions with instructors, etc.) Keeping a songwriting journal […]

Christina Perri

Curing the Melody that Aimlessly Wanders

Writing melodies may not be the part of songwriting you find easy at all. You may find it easy to create chord progressions that you like, and you may even be a decent lyricist. But if you’re finding that your melodies sound like aimless wandering — a disorganized collection of notes — that’s a problem […]

The Bee Gees

Ignoring Genre to Improve Your Songwriting Skills

I find that whenever I think of what the Bee Gees went through in the early 1980s, with the public in general suddenly expressing an intense dislike for their music, I feel a lot of sadness. The Bee Gees as a songwriting partnership wrote some of the best songs in the history of pop. Maybe […]

Yes - Concert Tour

The Pros and Cons of Using Songwriting Formulas

In songwriting, you’re probably using a formula if you find yourself thinking, “After I write something like this, I should follow it up with something like that..” A songwriting formula is a way of simplifying the process, as well as giving your listeners something predictable. The predictable nature of songwriting formulas is what songwriters dislike about them. […]

Rock band in concert

A Song Hook’s Rhythm and Melody, and How They Pair Up

Good songs don’t follow rules; it’s more a case of following guidelines. That means that every time you think you’ve identified a songwriting “rule”, you can come up with a list of songs that don’t follow it. Here’s a good example: if you look at a hundred different songs and try to identify the characteristics […]