Songwriter's checklist

Analyzing Problem Songs

When a listener doesn’t like a song you’ve written, they don’t spend a lot of time thinking about it. They’re unlikely to analyze what they don’t like about a song. They’re more inclined to simply move on. That’s a problem for you, of course, because you need to know why! If you’ve written something that you […]

Emotional audience

Song Topic is Important, But There Are Things Even More Vital

Don’t miss out on a free copy of “Use Your Words! Developing a Lyrics-First Songwriting Process.” It’s free when you purchase “The Essential Secrets of Songwriting 10-eBook Bundle” How do you choose a song topic? There are lots of ways to do it. I’ve known songwriters who gather ideas from the newspaper. Others who make […]

Be Careful With Sadness in Sad Songs

There’s something about reliving bad moments in our lives that we find good, in a weird sort of way. Sad songs work for that reason, and in fact, a recent study shows that we love to be reminded of sadness in our lives, if those reminders happen in song. If you’re trying to make your […]

Guitarist - Songwriter - Lyricist

In Songwriting, Definitions Aren’t the Same as Meanings

If you want to know what a word means, you’ll look it up in a dictionary. So we say that a dictionary gives us the meaning. But not in the music world. Not to split hairs, but if you’re a songwriter, looking a word up in the dictionary gives you the definition, not the meaning. […]

Guitar, Pencil & Paper

What Causes Musical Boredom?

There’s probably nothing worse to you as a songwriter than discovering that people are bored with your songs. If you’re like most, you’d rather have a split between people loving and people hating your music. But boring your audience? That’s pretty bad. Your fans will likely be unmotivated to say why your songs are boring them, […]

The One and Only Reason That People Stop Listening

I remember a university prof years ago asking us fledgling students a question: What is the one thing that all pieces of music ever written have in common? You might think that it’s a pretty easy question. Obviously, all music involves sound, right? No. John Cage’s “4’33” is a work in which the performer (usually […]