John Legend

The Benefit of Leaving Lyrics to the Last Step

It’s a good idea to come up with a song topic and perhaps a few snippets of lyric fairly early in the songwriting process. Having the topic gives you a direction for your musical mind, and every line of lyric you generate adds to your song’s character. Thousands of songwriters are using “The Essential Secrets […]

guitarist - songwriter

5 Important Lessons I Learned Over the Years as a Composer of Music

Like anyone who writes music, I could probably write a book regarding advice I’ve been given over the years — advice that’s helped shape the musician I’ve become. The best lessons I’ve learned have come from individuals, not necessarily from the pages of a book. That’s not because books aren’t good; it’s more because I […]

Home recording Studio - Darren Perkins

Making Sure Contrast is Playing an Important Role in Your Songs

If you really want to see contrast at work in music, you should listen to a Classical symphony. Each piece typically consists of four movements, and each movement will be in a different key, and usually a different tempo. Also, each movement, even if they borrow ideas from previous movements (as 19th-century composers sometimes did), […]

Songwriting - chord choices

Keeping Everything You Write — Even the Bad Stuff

For most songwriters, the act of songwriting is about 10 percent imagination/creation, and then 90 percent working and reworking those ideas until a song is complete. Because of that, don’t be surprised if the first ideas you get for a song seem a bit lame. It can take some time before everything sounds the way […]

Songwriting Collaboration

Some Thoughts on Songwriting Collaborations

I was reading an online article about songwriting recently — a kind of “top ten ways to write great songs” sort of site — and one of the bits of advice was this: since practically all songs you find on the Billboard Hot 100 these days are the results of songwriting collaborations, you should definitely […]

chord progressions

My Guest Article at Songwriting.net: Chord Progressions

I was asked by the folks over at Songwriting.net to write an article for their website. They posted it yesterday, entitled “7 Ideas for Creating Chord Progressions.” I hope you’ll take a look. I’ve put a short excerpt below: There are basic principles about the way chords work that aren’t much affected by genre. What […]