Microphone - Writing a melody

Is the Chorus You Just Wrote Really a Verse?

Do you ever feel that your chorus has problems, but no matter what you do you can’t seem to get it to work? When that happens, the problem often seems to be that the chorus doesn’t sound like a chorus. You expect a certain kind of musical punch to come from a chorus, but figuring out […]

Songwriter with paper and guitar

The Power of Setting Small Songwriting Goals

Do you find frustration building practically every time you sit down to write a song? Sometimes you find that a song’s first ideas will come to you quickly, but what to do with those ideas… That’s when the frustration kicks in, and everything starts to feel hopeless. One of the most common causes of songwriting frustration […]

The Beatles

Why a Songwriting Process That Starts By Working Out a Hook Makes Sense

Most works of art, whether you’re talking about songwriting, poetry, the painting of a landscape, or anything else, really, are comprised of some element that acts as a focus, and then many surrounding, supporting elements. For example, you might photograph a landscape that features a beautiful pine tree as the main element — the object that immediately […]

Chord Ideas for Connecting a Verse to a Chorus

There are a few important spots during a song, moments that serve as connectors between one section and the next. What happens during those connecting moments will either enticingly pull the listener along and make them want to keep listening, or that moment will fail to do its job, and we feel a temporary “lull” in […]

Pianist - Songwriter

Songwriting: Changing Key Within a Verse

Most of the time, a song will start and end in the same key without ever changing. But once in a while, it can be interesting for the audience if they hear the music move off to some new key, even if that key change is just temporary. In music theory terms, it’s called “modulation.” […]

Why Sticking to the 3-4 Minute Song Length Still Makes Sense

There’s an interesting history behind why pop songs tend to be 3-to-4 minutes in length, and it has to do with the nature of the medium: typically, a 10-inch record spinning 78 times per minute, as you would have had when rock & roll was in its infancy. That usually meant that it was not […]