Music Theory - Songwriting

Can Music Theory Increase Your Creative Abilities?

There is a decades-old myth in the pop music world that asserts that the more you understand music theory, the more it stunts your creative abilities. Where does the myth come from? I suspect it goes something like this: When a song sounds really good, theorists will pull it apart to try to understand why it […]

guitar, pencil and notepad

Honing Your Lyric-Writing Skills

If you find lyrics are the hardest part of songwriting, the best way forward is to try to emulate the greats. Whenever I hear songwriters describing the difficulties they have with lyrics, it’s almost always that they feel that they’re “lame.” In other words, it’s not so much that they don’t know what to write […]

Keyboardist songwriter

Don’t Over-Analyze Your Own Good Songs

Sometimes a song will work even though it seems to go against established norms for songwriting. We know, for example, that the vast majority of song choruses are higher in pitch than the verse that comes before it. So much so, in fact, that it amounts to a kind of principle of songwriting. But there […]

Guitarist - songwriter

Improve Your Songwriting By Improving Your Instrumental Abilities

Does this describe your own songwriting situation: You sit down with your guitar and start to strum, trying to come up with ideas for a new song. You find your fingers moving to the same chords — the ones your fingers usually like. While you’re strumming, you become aware that you’re using the same basic […]

Songwriting guitarist

Songwriting Without Limits

What are the best ways to improve as a songwriter? Is there a point where you reach your best? A point where no matter what you do you can’t look forward to being a better songwriter? That begs the question: How do we learn anything, in the first place? The best teachers out there are […]

Guitar and paper for songwriting

Writing a Song From a Chord Progression – An Excerpt

If you like starting songs by working out the chord progressions first, you may be aware of one notable difficulty: melodies can sometimes get neglected. And that’s a problem, since the melody is the part that you hope your listeners will be humming. But there are ways to make sure that the chords-first songwriting process […]