Joni Mitchell

Viewing Your Songs in Chronological Order

All songwriters fight with frustration. I’d say that if you don’t get frustrated from time to time, you’re not growing the way you should. Artistic growth requires getting excited about what you’re writing, but it also requires feeling dissatisfied. Dissatisfaction is not a negative reaction if you use it to propel you forward. Chapter 5 of […]

Producer David Foster

Success Starts With the Song

This past Friday, producer David Foster did an interview with Tom Power on the CBC Radio show ‘Q.’ Toward the end of that interview, this was said: DF: “Well, you know, Quincy Jones, what he said about having a hit record? ‘Quincy, what’s the three elements you need for a hit record?’ ‘Well, let me […]

Bob Dylan - 1962

How to Know Which Songs Are Good Ones to Study

For musicology students who delve mainly in the world of Classical music, history has a way of filtering out “bad” music, leaving them with what might otherwise be known as “the hits.” And there are lots of them to study. Ask those same students to list every Classical composer they know, and they’ll be able […]

Songwriting - List

Good Songwriting and Objective Listening

It’s a dangerous can of worms to open if you dare ask someone, “What is good music?” Most of the time, people misunderstand the question and think you’re really asking, “What are your favourite songs?”, or perhaps “What is your favourite style (genre) of music?” There is an important difference between “What is good music?” […]

Pianist - Songwriter

Songwriting: Your Best First Advancements

What’s the most effective way to learn songwriting? Is it like other topics that you might learn in a college school? I taught music for years in public school and then at university, but I don’t believe that school is the best way to learning everything. “Chord Progression Formulas” show you how to create dozens […]

What Songwriters Can Learn From Golf and the People Who Play It

I don’t play golf, but I know a few people who do. My general feeling about it is that I rarely hear anyone talk about the pleasure they get from the game. It’s always about their low level of ability and their general frustration with that. It almost seems that for weekend golfers, no one is deriving […]