Guitar

Taking Songwriting Technique to Higher Levels

When you listen to great instrumentalists, no matter what genre, you become aware of something important: underneath all those great musical ideas is a foundation in the basics. If you don’t have a grounding in the basics of technique on your instrument, it’s going to show pretty quickly. Everyone knows this. That’s why, if you’re […]

Beginner songwriter tuning guitar

7 Tips For the Beginning Songwriter

The love of music is a natural part of being human. For many, loving music means listening to it, dancing to it, singing or playing it. For others — many readers of this blog would fall into this category — it’s not enough to enjoy someone else’s music; they get enjoyment out of creating their […]

guitarist - songwriter

When Practice Might Not Make Perfect

We use the expression “practice makes perfect” to remind ourselves that simply knowing something isn’t enough. Once armed with knowledge, you need to put it to work for you. And that’s the practice part. In school you learned the basic concepts of mathematics. Once you acquired that knowledge, your teacher gave you endless exercises to help you […]

Tom Cochrane

Songwriting: Pairing Up Instinct With Knowledge

As a songwriter, you’re always trying to get the notes of your melodies, as well as the chords that accompany them, to sound somehow magical. At least, that’s the way most audiences will perceive what you’ve done. But hopefully you know that it’s not magic. It’s not even random, even though you may use improvisation and […]

Songwriter with guitar

Diversifying Your Songwriting Style

Among other admirable qualities, the individual members of The Beatles were known for the astonishing diversity of their writing styles. For every song they wrote, they threw out the template and came up with a new song that bore little similarity to past ones. That meant that every new hit had a freshness. Every new […]

Transcribing Songs: The Best Ear Training a Songwriter Can Do

When I was a teenager, I had a somewhat limited knowledge of music theory and how it worked. I think that’s typical for most young people. I played trumpet and a bit of piano, so I could read notes in the treble and bass clef, but I had a very rudimentary understanding of what chords […]