Drake in the studio

Writing Longer in a World of Shorter Songs

In today’s pop music world, songs are getting shorter. Back in the ’50s and ’60s, most songs were under three minutes in length. “Lonely Boy“, recorded by Paul Anka in 1959, was 2’30”, and that was typical. Starting in the later ’60s and into the ’70s there was a slow increase in the length of […]

Foreigner - I Want to know What Love Is

What a Melody Should Do In a Song’s Pre-Chorus Section

A pre-chorus is an optional section that sits between the verse and chorus. There are several reasons why you might choose to use a pre-chorus in a song, the most common reasons being any combination of the following: The verse is quite short. The verse melody is very repetitive. The beginning of the chorus is […]

Mark Knopfler - Money For Nothing

The Long Song Intro: Does It Make Your Song Better?

Lyrics become all the more powerful when they’re properly paired with a good melody. That’s what Chapter 5 is all about in the eBook “The Essential Secrets of Songwriting.” Polish your songwriting technique with the 10-eBook Bundle. Comes with a Study Guide If you record the songs you write (and I certainly hope you do), […]

Derek & the Dominos - Layla

How Many Unique Elements Make a Good Song Tune?

Pop songs are typically 3 or 4 minutes in length. And because this is not a long bit of time we’re talking about, it can be a problem if you put too many ideas together when you write that song. Think of it as a kind of musical “economy.” You’ll use one melody for the […]

The Who

Is Your Song Intro Inviting Your Audience to Keep Listening?

The intro of your song is that one section that’s part songwriting, part production. In other words, for many songs you can take the existing intro away, replace it with some other intro, and the song is still essentially the same. In that sense, a song intro can be decided upon during the production stage […]

Singer-Songwriter

Pop Songwriting: Perfecting the Miniature Musical Form

Songs are short. Most of them, anyway. And by short, I mean usually less than four minutes. That may seem like an insignificant detail that’s hardly worth mentioning, but the shortness of songs is a kind of musical challenge: in a very short period of time, you need to offer the audience a complete musical […]