Two guitarists-songwriters

Is Your New Song Different Enough From Other Songs?

Here’s an interesting little experiment you can try if you have several of your own songs in some sort of recorded format. Play each song, and for each one ask yourself “When is the first time in this song I hear something unique?” Here’s more of what I mean by that: Let’s say your song […]

Chord Progression Formulas

The Benefit of a Good Chord Progression Formula

Songwriting formulas are usually spoken of in a negative way. That’s because inherent in the term “formula” is the notion that if you do certain things, you’ll get a predictable result. And if you’re like most songwriters, “predictable” is not what you’re after. There are many kinds of formulas that are used in songwriting. Some […]

singer - songwriter

In Songwriting, What’s Worse Than Predictability?

If there’s one thing songwriters usually strive for, it’s uniqueness. No one wants to simply write songs that sound like everything else that’s going on out there. That would make it hard to build a fan base of your own. Except… there is something worse than being overly predictable in your writing style (and predictability […]

Yes - Concert Tour

The Pros and Cons of Using Songwriting Formulas

In songwriting, you’re probably using a formula if you find yourself thinking, “After I write something like this, I should follow it up with something like that..” A songwriting formula is a way of simplifying the process, as well as giving your listeners something predictable. The predictable nature of songwriting formulas is what songwriters dislike about them. […]

Journey - Don't Stop Believin'

Don’t Fear Strangeness In Your Songwriting… As Long As It Works

Good songwriting almost always comes about by following some basic principles. Those principles are not cast in stone, of course. If they were, we’d call them rules. For some songs, the principles seem obvious and clear, and you don’t have to do a lot of thinking to know why those songs work so well. For […]

Freddie Mercury

How to Move From Stale to Innovative as a Songwriter

If you’re trying to develop an innovative songwriting style, a major impediment is one that’s often unnoticeable: you’re listening only to music from your own genre of choice. So if you’re a country-folk songwriter, and you’re only listening to the latest and greatest country-folk singer-songwriters, it makes developing your own style immensely difficult. Innovation is almost […]