Songwriter's notepad

5 Ways to Be Sure the Structure of Your Songs is Solid

There’s probably no word less inspiring in the world of songwriting than “structure”. And let’s face it, when was the last time you thought about “structure” when you wrote a song? But the structure of a song can be a vital part of what makes it work. It’s easiest to think about what structure really […]

Neil Young

Your Songs – Your Personality

When you listen to the songs you’ve written, can you hear your personality coming through? I’m not talking about the performance of your song; in good musical performances we usually find it easy to hear and feel the personality of the performer. “Use Your Words! Developing a Lyrics-First Songwriting Process” is FREE with your purchase […]

Singer - Songwriter

Exploring the Extremes

If you always give the audience what they’re expecting, that’s a recipe for losing a fan base. It’s true that your fans are going to expect a certain style of songwriting from you, but if you never venture outward — never explore the extremes — your fan base is going to get lulled into the […]

Guitarist - Songwriter - Lyricist

How Much of a Lyric Needs to be Understood?

Some lyrics are stories, and so there’s a simple answer to the question of how much of a lyric needs to be understood: darn near all of it. The beauty of story lyrics is in the way you say things, and the imagery you use. There’s more to a song hook than meets the ear… a […]

Paul Simon

If You Aren’t Creating Images…

A good lyric might use clever rhymes. And it might use no rhymes. You might write a lyric that’s long and involved, or you might write one that uses very few words. Your lyric might be a story. Or the story might be only vaguely implied. You may write about love, or you might write […]

Sad songs

Writing Sad Songs (and Why You’d Want To Do That)

There is research out there that tells us that people like listening to sad music. It doesn’t necessarily bring them down, and in fact can have an opposite, buoyant effect. That’s because as listeners, we want to feel something, and as long as whatever the sad song is about isn’t describing our own state of affairs […]