guitarist - songwriter

5 Important Lessons I Learned Over the Years as a Composer of Music

Like anyone who writes music, I could probably write a book regarding advice I’ve been given over the years — advice that’s helped shape the musician I’ve become. The best lessons I’ve learned have come from individuals, not necessarily from the pages of a book. That’s not because books aren’t good; it’s more because I […]

Bruce Springsteen - I'm On Fire

Allowing Listeners to Create a Story With Your Song

Just this morning I went to YouTube and listened to Springsteen’s “I’m On Fire.” Such a powerful song, and I don’t think I had ever seen the official video before, which includes a short dramatization of Springsteen as a car mechanic being asked to repair a car by a woman we never actually see, other […]

TwinstheNewTrend

Watching Your Audience’s Reaction

For all the times that you ask others for their opinions about your latest song, you might be neglecting the obvious: your audience’s reaction. Once all the knowledgable musicians we know have weighed in, what really counts is your target audience. Audiences aren’t going to fill out a questionnaire regarding the excellence (or not) of […]

Song Melody

The Power of a Great Song Melody

Robin Gibb once said that a great song is all about a great melody. It really depends on the genre, but most of the time I think he’s right. When you’ve hooked a listener with a good melody, you’ve given them something to hum — something to remember. A great melody is a powerful way […]

Music concert microphone

Using the Direction of Your Melodies to Create Musical Contrast

You may not have considered the up-or-down direction of your song melodies as being all that important, but it can go a long way to adding structure and musical interest to your song. Specifically, contrasting upward-moving phrases with downward-moving ones can be an aspect of musical contrast that keeps listeners listening. What I’m about to […]

Singer - Songwriter

The Best Song Lyrics Have Emotions That Arrive in Waves

Even if a song is about something emotional (love, deep friendship, death of a loved one, etc.), it doesn’t work so well to have that lyric be deeply emotional all the time. If all the audience hears is heart-wrenching feelings from beginning to end, it starts to dull its own effect. It’s far better to have […]