Oscar Peterson Trio

Fixing Songwriting Errors Before Recording

If you ever listen to an old 1950s-era recording of jazz pianist Oscar Peterson, you’re probably hearing him with his trio which included Herb Ellis on guitar and Ray Brown on bass. No drummer at that time, but the three of them played with such a powerful sense of beat and rhythm that you don’t […]

Musical instruments for songwriting

Using Different Instruments to Write Better Songs

If you use one particular instrument to write all your songs, you’re likely running up against a problem: all your songs start to sound the same. I just wrote about song similarity in my most recent post (“Working On Several Tunes to Avoid Excessive Song Similarity“), in which I suggest that one great way to […]

Songer - Songwriter

Why I Like the Melody-First Process When Composing Music

When I’m writing original music — which is to say, composing, not arranging someone else’s tune — I practically always do some kind of melody-first method. When you hear a problem with your song, but don’t know how to solve it, you might find the answer in “Fix Your Songwriting Problems – NOW!” Get this eBook separately, […]

keyboard player and songwriter

Making Sure Your Melody and Chords are Cooperating

Evaluating your songs objectively is crucial to songwriting success. “Fix Your Songwriting Problems – NOW!” puts the magnifying glass on 7 of the most common problems that songwriters typically face, and offers great solutions to try. Creating a song melody that is effective means writing one that is: well supported by the chords underneath it; […]

Cool W.A. Mozart

Mozart’s 7 Tips for Songwriters

Mozart improvised. Mozart had good days and bad days. In fact, much of Mozart’s compositional process, if you research the topic, looks a lot like the kind of songwriting process we see today: a lot of experimenting, keeping good ideas, throwing out bad ones, and so on. So let’s take a look at some of […]

Guitar and Piano - Creating a Melody and Bass Line

Songwriting: Working Out the Melody and Bass Line

The composer Mozart almost always composed by finding a catchy melody as a first step, and then finding a bass line that supported it. Filling in all the missing instruments was, for him, something closer to a final step in composition. We can infer two things from this kind of compositional process: He considered melody […]