Adele - Someone Like You

The Psychology of Song Section Durations

In the world of music composition, songs in the popular genres (pop, rock, country, folk, and most of their subgenres) tend to be short, at around 4 minutes or so as a norm. Yes, some subgenres such as progressive rock will feature songs that are much longer, but brevity is a feature of most pop […]

Songwriting - Editing Lyrics

The Power (and Necessity) of Editing Your Songs

The best editing in the creative arts makes things shorter, not longer. That’s not a rule, and it’s not exclusively true, but it’s almost always the case. Pop songs tend to be 3-4 minutes in length. That’s usually because of the subject matter. People think it’s because we don’t have attention spans that will allow […]

Gotye - Eyes Wide Open

5 Tips For Writing a More Focused Lyric

It’s important to realize that what you’re dealing with in songwriting is getting an audience to feel something, more so than telling a story. True, your song will involve telling a kind of story– a lover who tosses you away, or perhaps a plea to the world for more kindness — but what it comes down […]

The Who

5 Options for Shortening a Song That’s Too Long

I get songs sent to me now and again, for me to give my thoughts on improving them. (If you’re having a problem with something you’re writing and would like my input, I’ll direct you to this post. It will let you know how to go about that.) Here’s an interesting fact about the songs […]

Piano - Songwriter

Can Songs Be Too Short?

Over the past number of years, I’ve worked with songwriters mostly via email and/or Skype. Every songwriter has their issues, the problems they’re trying to solve. If I were to make a list of every problem songwriters are dealing with, a song that’s too short wouldn’t be on it. Let me qualify that. There are lots of […]

5 Tips For the Song That Just Won't Fix Itself

Here are some ideas for fixing that song that just never seems finished. Do you have a song in your own personal catalogue that’s finished but just doesn’t sound right? Every once in a while you dig it out and sing through it, but it just lies there like yesterday’s porridge. Everything seems right, but you can […]