Guitarist - songwriter

Don’t Get Overly Worried About Similarity Between Your Songs

Similarity is a dangerous quality in the world of the creative arts. And it is a particular problem in pop songwriting, because — weirdly — it’s also an important quality. And it all comes down to how you define similarity and how excessive that similarity might be. If you’re ready to take your songwriting to its […]

Music of the future

The Songs of the Future — What Will They Sound Like?

I had a professor once who, while commenting on what the music of the future would sound like, said, “Well, if we knew that, we’d be writing it now.” That’s very likely not true. What’s more likely is something like that scene from “Back to the Future”, when Marty plays “Johnny B. Goode”, which morphs into […]

Songwriter - Synth

Why Chord Progression Formulas Usually Make Songs Better

In songwriting, a formula amounts to a set of steps that are predictable “responses” to whatever has just happened. And in general, they’re not necessarily desirable. What’s so undesirable about formulas? It comes down to this: most of your listeners like to hear musical ideas that are generated in a spontaneous sort of way, and […]

Michael Jackson - Thriller

Making Connections Within a Song to Strengthen Its Structure

When we talk about “making connections within a song”, we’re usually talking about finding ways to have, let’s say, some characteristics of your verse show up in other sections of your song — your chorus, or perhaps pre-chorus or bridge. For example, there is a noticeable connection between the initial verse idea and the start […]

Harry Styles - As It Was

The Melodic Rhythms in Harry Styles’ “As It Was”

If you’ve been reading my blog at all, you know that even though I love complexity in songwriting, I have a deep appreciation for musical simplicity. There’s something enticing about just letting a simple melody have its way. A perfect recent example of how a simple song can soar to the top of the charts […]

What Are You Doing To Make Your Songs Stand Out From the Rest?

I’ve often said that if you’re not doing something unique in your songwriting/performing, you’re missing the opportunity to add something remarkable to the music world. Being unique does not need to mean being strange, or at least certainly not overly strange. Most of the time, what you feel comfortable doing as a songwriter will be constrained […]