How to Use Contrast to Make a Song More Interesting

When we talk about contrast in a song, we’re talking about the existence of opposites: one part of a song may be loud, another soft; one part may be loud, another soft. The concept of contrast has been part of music composition for hundreds of years, and so it doesn’t matter what genre of music you write […]

Should My Lyrics Rhyme?

Lyrics are the main way you communicate with your audience, but it’s not the only way. What we do with chord progressions, melodic shape, rhythm, and the basic mood we convey with all of those elements, all work together to communicate something to the listener. But lyrics probably stand as the most important way we have […]

Songwriting Principle No. 11: A Good Hook Won't Save a Bad Song

Why do so many songwriters swear by the power of the hook? It’s because the hook, by definition, can reel in a listener, and keep them humming your song all day long, for days, weeks and even years to come You can’t ignore the power of a well-placed, well-composed hook to drive your song into […]

Songwriting Principle No. 9: Tracking the Rise and Fall of your Melodies

Writing a good melody requires several things all working together; chief among them are lyric and harmonies. A melody is good if it seems to complement the emotion of the lyric. The harmonies, of course, need to support the melody. Beyond that, there is another important issue which is often overlooked: melodic shape. Melodies need countour. While there […]

Songwriting Principle No. 6: All Song Elements Must Work TOGETHER

Many songwriters become fixated on one aspect of a song, to the detriment of the others. In my experience, more songwriters worry about their chord progressions than anything else. If you find chords hard to come up with, that fixation may make sense. But the most important element of a song may not actually be any […]

Bad Songs, and How to Write Them

There are many ways to write a bad song, but most of those bad ways will fall into one of the following categories:    1. Ignore the form of the song. The form is what makes the listener feel like they’ve been on a journey. Form, in essence, means that your song will make sense.    2. Make sure your […]