Songwriter - Guitarist

Fine-Tuning Your Songwriting

I’m a trumpet player, though these days I do more writing and conducting than trumpet playing. Back when I was starting out, I was in final rehearsals for a one-off orchestra I had been hired to play in. I noticed that the principal trumpeter had a small ring of brass — sort of doughnut-shaped –that […]

Paul Simon

Weaving Lyrics Together With a Simple Metaphor: Paul Simon’s “Kathy’s Song”

The best lyrics are the ones that sound conversational when you read them. By sounding conversational, the ideas you’re conveying are going to have the best chance for touching the heart of the listener. Conversational lyrics touch the heart because they’re more likely to use simple, everyday words, the kind that are usually the most […]

Songwriter writing lyrics

Fixing Lyrics Two or Three Lines at a Time

As a songwriter, getting the lyrics sounding the way you like is possibly the trickiest part of writing a song. What do you do when what you’ve written sounds lame, corny, or just plain lousy? Your intuition probably tells you that you should go line by line, consider the rhythm and flow of the line […]

Singer-Songwriter

How Good Songwriters Listen to Music

As an unofficial “student of songwriting,” you’re curious. You’re not content to just enjoy music — you want to know why some songs sound great, and then you want to apply what you learn to make your own songs sound great. Simply stated, if you aren’t curious, you aren’t a songwriter. If you’re ready to […]

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 […]