Band in rehearsal

The Importance of Musical Patterns in Good Songwriting

As humans, perhaps one of our strongest skills is recognizing patterns when we hear or see them. Pattern recognition gives us great enjoyment when we listen to music. Here’s what I mean: When listening to a song, most people cannot say what key they’re hearing. Most could never identify any specific note of the melody. […]

Writing great song lyrics

Lyrics and the Natural Pulse

When lyrics sound like they’re not working, you’ll want to check out the up-and-down of the emotional content. Good lyrics start by being observational and narrative in nature, and then move to being responsive and emotional. And that holds true no matter what genre of music you call your own. Beyond that, the next most […]

Guitar - songwriting

Getting Control of the Character of Your Songs

What do we mean by a song’s “character?” In most cases, we’re talking about the mood or feel that we pick up from it. And we have all sorts of words that might otherwise be described as “character” words: “gentle”, “edgy”, “aggressive”, “laid back”, “dark”, and so on. Whether we know it or not, a […]

Bruno Mars - Uptown Funk!

Songs Without a Focal Point Will Quickly Fail

If you’re a successful landscape artist or photographer, you know the vital importance of a focal point. That’s the feature that immediately draws the viewer’s eye and establishes the artwork’s main subject. Without a focal point, you’ve got a painting or photo that looks fine but keeps the viewer endlessly searching for purpose. Like staring at […]

Rolling Stones - Satisfaction

Exploring a Deeper Definition of a Song Hook

In pop songwriting, the word hook is often used synonymously with chorus. “I’ve just written a hook” usually means that you’ve got the main part of your chorus done. But in fact, that concept we call the hook is more complex, and overlaps with other elements we typically call riffs, motifs, maybe even loops and other types of repetitive patterns. […]

Bruce Springsteen - Born in the U.S.A.

5 Important Characteristics of Good Song Hooks

 There are several different kinds of hooks you might find in the song, but they all do essentially the same thing:  they all give the listener something catchy, something singable, and something that will bring them back to the song.   So no matter where your main hook appears (chorus, intro, backing accompaniment, etc. )  here […]