Microphone

Pulling Different Melodic Ideas Together To Finish a Song

If you look at your most recent song’s verse and compare it to the chorus, you’ll usually notice: There is likely a similarity in the kinds of chords you’ve used in both sections. The lyrics are probably different, with verse lyrics setting up a scenario, and chorus lyrics expressing the emotions created by the verse. […]

Joni Mitchell

Understanding a Song’s Climactic Moment

Most songs have a “climactic moment”, usually in the chorus, but sometimes in other places, like a song’s bridge. In most cases, you can identify a climactic moment by finding the highest note. This has been a noticeable trait in music for centuries. You can go back to Handel’s oratorio “Messiah”, for example, and see […]

Ray Charles

Is There Anything Special About Songs That Get Covered By Others?

I was looking recently at a list of some of the world’s most covered songs, and saw a few surprises on it. Some of them were what we’ve come to expect on such lists: Paul McCartney’s “Yesterday”, Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah”, and Johnny Cash’s “I Walk the Line.” But I confess I didn’t know that Ray […]

The Bee Gees

Songwriting as Storytelling

Most song lyrics tell a story, whether it recounts a series of events in chronological order, or just simply implies a story. In fact, it’s probably true to say that most songs just imply a story, and we fill in a lot of details as the listener. There are any number of examples of what I’m […]

The Beatles - Help!

Reversed Versions of Songs… a Writer’s Block Antidote?

Who knew that posting backwards versions of songs on YouTube was a thing? I came across a channel called “The Beatles Reversed”, and listened to a backwards version of “Help!” I’m not sure what the reason would be, and it should be noted that the channel has only 1.7k subscribers, so it doesn’t seem to […]

Songwriter

Seven Things That Really Matter In Your Songwriting

If you find that someone is able to write a complete song every few days, you might be tempted to think that there’s something magical about whatever process they’re using that helps them be so prolific. But the truth is that good songwriting is rarely about whatever process a writer might have used to create […]