Student of songwriting

The Many Ways to Improve Your Songwriting Technique

When I was a first year university music student many years ago, I had about 50 classmates. I was planning to be a composition major, but in my classes, there was every possible music discipline represented. Some were training to be singers, others were aspiring teachers, and still others were learning sound recording techniques, music […]

Singer-songwriter

Five Ways to Write Better Songs

There are many ways to improve your skills as a songwriter, and the best songwriters use a combination of many. These will include: Discussions with other songwriters. Discussions with other non-songwriting musicians (including players, producers, engineers, etc.) Studying the craft of songwriting (via written texts, videos, one-on-one sessions with instructors, etc.) Keeping a songwriting journal […]

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 […]