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, […]

Songwriter - Pianist

A Quick Tip For Remembering The Melody You Just Created

Let’s say you’re on a bus or out for a walk, and you’ve just come up with a great little bit of melody. It’s got great possibilities, you’re thinking, but you’ve always found it hard to remember the tune after even ten minutes, and you feel a bit too self-conscious to dig your phone out […]

Songwriting tools for lyricists

Songwriting and Finding the Story

One of the biggest differences between writing a song and writing a book is the number of words you’ll use. A novel might use 80,000 or more words to describe a story, but with a song lyric you really only get a tiny fraction of that; maybe 100 words or so. So with novels, the […]