Guitar and paper for songwriting

Ignoring Rules – Following Principles

It’s common to hear questions posed by those who are relatively new to the world of songwriting that start with the phrase: “Can I…”, or “Is it OK to…” “Can I start and end a song in different keys?” “Can I change tempo in the middle of a song?” “Is it OK to write pop […]

How Interesting Your Chords Are Isn’t the Most Important Part of a Song

However you start the songwriting process, you’re likely starting with the aspect of music with which you feel most comfortable. Start with lyrics? You probably find words easy to combine and finesse. Start with chords? You likely feel most comfortable setting the mood and colour of the music. If you’re a chords-first songwriter, you’re probably […]

songwriting

If All Your Songs Sound Similar: Some Fixes For That

Everyone has a songwriting style, and if you listen to enough of someone’s music you’ll start to hear those similarities, assuming it’s not immediately obvious. Similarity between songs is not a horrible wrong that must be corrected. It’s unavoidable. And it’s a part of being creative in the sense that creativity usually builds on things […]

Guitarist - Songwriter

An Easier Way to Choose the Chords For Your Songs

Chord progressions are the one aspect of songwriting where random improvisation can give you something amazing, but unfortunately you’ll often need to wait a very long time before that amazing thing happens, wading through a lot of garbage in the meantime. That’s because there is a logic to chords and the way they move from […]

Songwriting: On Being Safely Innovative

The danger of innovation in songwriting is the possibility of losing fans. They know what to expect from you, but suddenly you’re moving in a new direction that they don’t like. The danger of not being innovative is that you won’t build a fan base, or at least build it painfully slowly. I maintain that the […]

Piano-playing songwriter

Changing Your Songwriting Approach

In order for an athlete to improve, something needs to change. A golfer who wants to improve needs to develop a different stance, or perhaps hold the club differently, or do some other thing in a different way. Athletes work all the time on that simple idea of change. If they aren’t changing something, their […]