Songwriting and writer's block

5 Ways to Cure “Lame Lyric” Syndrome

The best lyrics are the ones that create an emotional response in the listener. That means that the words you choose, and the way you put those words together, becomes extremely important. Songwriters are very familiar with the chorus hook, but there are other kinds to experiment with, and you will want to discover the […]

Songwriting - chord choices

Blending Major and Minor Chords Within a Song Section

For whichever key you choose for a song, there are certain chords that you’ll use because they exist naturally in that key. Then there are the chords you’ll choose, not because they belong to that key, but because they add a bit of musical interest. Stuck with how to get chords that fit the melody […]

Genesis

Songwriting: Lyrical Hooks and Clichés

I’m a fan of Genesis, but enjoyed the older incarnation of that group more than the one in the mid-80s. That’s not a criticism at all because I think Genesis wrote brilliant pop music. I just happen to like their older prog rock style. Genesis wrote and recorded “Tonight, Tonight, Tonight” for their 1986 “Invisible […]

Singer-songwriter

Finding Your Best Starting Point

If you’re new to the world of songwriting, you may find yourself wondering if there’s a best way to start. If you ask a dozen songwriters that question, you’ll likely get at least half a dozen different answers. And I’d probably say that those answers all have the potential to be correct — if they […]

Now, Now - SGL

Getting the Most Out of a Song’s Hook

For most songs in the pop genre, the bit that you really love will be some short, catchy fragment. That fragment — the hook — is the bit that you’ll remember forever about that song. Long after you’ve forgotten almost everything else, you’ll remember that hook. “Hooks and Riffs: How They Grab Attention, Make Songs Memorable, […]

Songwriter - Pianist

When Your Song’s Hook Isn’t Doing Its Job

A hook has several defining attributes that all partner together to make it memorable and catchy: It’s main identifying characteristic is its shortness, making it easy to remember. It has a melodic component that frequently includes some sort of leap, usually upward (“Born in the U.S.A.”). It has a rhythmic component that frequently includes a […]