Be Careful With Sadness in Sad Songs

There’s something about reliving bad moments in our lives that we find good, in a weird sort of way. Sad songs work for that reason, and in fact, a recent study shows that we love to be reminded of sadness in our lives, if those reminders happen in song. If you’re trying to make your […]

Songwriter with guitar and paper

Writing a Good Song Melody: It’s Not a Random Process

There’s so much about songwriting that seems random. You could choose practically any chord progression, any melodic shape, any hook, any combination of words for the lyric. So when you look at it that way, it seems that randomness is a key feature of songs. The success of a pop song often comes down to […]

Winter scene - Holiday classic

Can You Write a Holiday Classic? Start With a Family Classic

It seems that the songs that everyone really wants to hear during the Christmas season are the classics — the ones that have been around for the past 7 or 8 decades, or even longer. It begs the question: Can anyone write a new holiday tune that has a hope of taking its place along […]

Singer - Songwriter - Lyricist

Getting Your Verse to Properly Prepare the Chorus

What are the main differences between a verse and chorus that you should be concerned about as a songwriter? You’re likely aware of all the commonly-known ones: Keep the verse melodic range a bit below the chorus. Allow melody notes of the chorus to elongate, especially on title words. Prevent your verse lyric from getting […]

Guitarist - Songwriter - Lyricist

In Songwriting, Definitions Aren’t the Same as Meanings

If you want to know what a word means, you’ll look it up in a dictionary. So we say that a dictionary gives us the meaning. But not in the music world. Not to split hairs, but if you’re a songwriter, looking a word up in the dictionary gives you the definition, not the meaning. […]

guitar - keyboard - headphones

Creating Chord Progression Motifs

In music, a motif is a short fragment of music that gets developed and repeated throughout the length of a song. The repetition aspect of a motif makes it similar to a hook. But a hook generally repeats verbatim; it generally sounds the same each time we hear it, like “She loves you, yeah, yeah, […]