Guitarist - songwriter

Songwriting: Creating Instant Gratification

One thing all pop music subgenres have in common, with the possible exception of progressive rock, is that the songs are short. Most of the time you need to offer your audience a complete work of artistic expression that lasts four minutes or less. In the creative arts, that’s not very long. Back in the […]

Joni Mitchell - Little Green

Great Songs Are the Best Teachers We Have

Recently the music world has been noting and celebrating the fifty-year anniversary of Joni Mitchell’s 1971 album “Blue.” If you know this album, you will know that many will tell you that the lyrics are its most powerful element. And I agree with that sentiment. There’s not a weak song on the album. When you […]

songwriter's challenges

The Most Important Part of Being a Student of Songwriting

The best songwriters that I know consider themselves to be “students” of songwriting, even if only in an unofficial sense. They consider every song that they hear to be an opportunity to learn something. The problem with being a student of songwriting is that we all hold very strong opinions about music. We have our […]

Guitar, headphones and music

Using the Best Practices of Music Schools To Improve Your Songwriting

I don’t want to give the impression that how schools approach the learning of a subject is always the best way forward. Sometimes it seems that schools are high on delivering course outlines and a bit scant on practical guidance. If you’re at school to learn history or business administration, that approach of starting with […]

The Weeknd

Creating Effective Song Hooks

Most of the time when you talk about the hook of a song, you’re talking about the main, distinctive part of the chorus. There are many different ways to hook a listener, but you could argue that the chorus hook is the most important one, as it gives listeners the most memorable part of the […]

U2 - Sunday Bloody Sunday

Five Questions About Any Good Song You Should Be Able to Answer

If you’re looking to improve your songwriting abilities, you can do no better than to look to some of the best songs written, and then figure out how the writers of those songs were able to write them. Then hopefully, you can apply what you learn to your own songs. It’s not usually that easy, […]