Journey - Don't Stop Believin'

Don’t Fear Strangeness In Your Songwriting… As Long As It Works

Good songwriting almost always comes about by following some basic principles. Those principles are not cast in stone, of course. If they were, we’d call them rules. For some songs, the principles seem obvious and clear, and you don’t have to do a lot of thinking to know why those songs work so well. For […]

Singer - Open mic

When a Song Sounds Bad, Take a Look at the Structure Underneath

When a song sounds great, we like to think that there’s a certain magic involved. But if you are a student of songwriting, as most good songwriters consider themselves to be, you’ll know that it’s not magic that makes a song great. A song sounds great when it follows basic musical principles. And we love […]

Songwriting guitarist

Songwriting: Knowing the Principles Helps You to Avoid Random Success

Songwriting success is great. Random success isn’t, because it means a lack of consistency. Lately I’ve been writing about the importance of songwriting principles. While a rule is something that must be followed, a principle does nothing more than guide the songwriter. Most of the time those principles exist because it’s the way we like to hear music. When we […]

Andy Grammer

A Chords-and-Melody Troubleshooting Guide for Songwriters

Is putting chords and melodies together one of your biggest challenges as a songwriter? Every song is unique, and uniqueness can sometimes make it hard to understand how chords can and should be supporting the form of your songs, and the melody notes above them. If you like starting songs by working out chord progressions, […]

Guitar and paper for songwriting

Ignoring Rules – Following Principles

It’s common to hear questions posed by those who are relatively new to the world of songwriting that start with the phrase: “Can I…”, or “Is it OK to…” “Can I start and end a song in different keys?” “Can I change tempo in the middle of a song?” “Is it OK to write pop […]

Folk Singer - Songwriter

Copying Your Own Songwriting Success

There’s nothing quite like the warm feeling you get when your audience loves your latest song. And naturally, you want to be able to copy your success; who wouldn’t? Replicating your own success is important in the sense that in songwriting, consistency is everything. The industry isn’t much interested in songwriters who write one good […]