Music Theory - Songwriting

An Idea For Practicing Lyric Writing: Creating Second Lines

If you find yourself fixated on improving your lyrics, you’re right to be. Over the long term, the quality of your lyrics is probably going to take you further than the quality of almost everything else you write. If you find everything else about songwriting relatively easy (the melodies and chords), but struggle with lyrics, […]

Peter Gabriel in concert

Trying Too Hard

It’s okay to wish and hope that your songs might become viral successes that the whole world can’t get enough of. And if you really want that, it seems to be a no-brainer that all it takes is some analysis of the world’s top hits, and do whatever it is they’re doing. No matter how […]

Neil Young

Are Preachy Lyrics a Problem?

I remember reading an interview with Bob Dylan once, during which he was asked his opinion on the state of the world. I don’t remember his specific words, but the gist of what he replied was, “Why are you asking me? I’m just a musician. I have opinions, but they’re no more informed than anyone […]

Rush - Spirit of Radio

Comparing Vocal and Instrumental Melodies

In theory, there shouldn’t be a lot of difference between a melody that’s meant to be sung and one that’s meant to be played. Particularly in the pop genres, both kinds of melodies will usually display the following characteristics: The melody will usually move mainly by step (i.e., adjacent notes in a scale) with occasional […]

Bruce Springsteen

The Story Within the Song – It Needs to Be Compelling

If you find that the lyrics you write lack whatever it takes to grab and keep an audience, there are several possible reasons that you need to think about: The song lacks a good story. The words you choose don’t connect or resonate in any important way to your audience. The words (and/or the opinions […]