Songwriting frustration - crumpled paper

Starting Songs, Then Keeping the Fire Burning

If there is one problem that practically all songwriters deal with, it’s this one: the inability to finish a song. Most songs will start with something captivating: a great little hook, a catchy bit of chord progression, or perhaps a short idea for a melody. And they start with great promise. So for those songwriters […]

Songwriter - Synth

Experimenting To Get a Better Verse For Your Song

You’ll wind up with a better song if you’re willing to experiment and change the things you’ve written. You like to think of your song as being kind of like your “baby” — you’re willing to accept it, warts and all. But before you fall irretrievably in love with your song, experimenting by changing bits […]

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 […]

guitar - songwriting

From Wandering to Predictable – Comparing Verse and Chorus Progressions

There are lots of ways to categorize chord progressions, but the one way that will be most useful for pop songwriters is to think of them as being either fragile or strong. A fragile progression is one where the key is not necessarily clear and obvious. These can be very beautiful progressions, and are the kind that […]

Paul McCartney - John Lennon

The Differences Between Lennon’s and McCartney’s Melodies

Generalizing any aspect of a songwriter’s output is straying into dangerous territory. That’s particularly true of the music of Lennon and McCartney. They were arguably the most versatile writers of pop song of their generation, and probably even now. As soon as they wrote a hit, it was back to the drawing board to come […]