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 […]

Guitarist - Songwriter

Songwriting Excellence Comes From Discipline and Consistency

Writing a great song is the dream of every songwriter, but one excellent song doesn’t necessarily point to consistency. There are many one-hit wonders, many songwriters who have been able to write something amazing, but have been unable to follow it up with another excellent song. I write about consistency a lot on this blog, […]

Songwriter

Writing Before Knowing

You’d be in good company if you said that every time you sit down to write a new song, you’d like to know what you’re writing about. It doesn’t make sense to start the actual writing of a song without knowing something about what you’re trying to say. Or perhaps it does. You might think that […]

Open-air Concert

How a First Impression Can Be More Important Than Clever Writing

It’s an instinct that most songwriters have: to take a song beyond what you’d normally hear in the genre, creating something innovative and unique. You don’t want to give your listeners something so unique that it sounds strange and uninviting, and you don’t want something so much like everything else that it simply bores people. It’s all […]