Lyricist - Songwriter

You Love Lyrics, But Can’t Start a Song That Way?

If for you the lyric of a song is the most important feature, you’re definitely on the right track. Those songwriters who become most well-known and who have the most powerful legacies are the ones for whom lyrics are the most poignant part of the final product. “Hooks and Riffs: How They Grab Attention, Make […]

Starship - We Built This City

Starship, We Built This City, and Musical Honesty

Every once in a while I see it: an online reference to “We Built This City,” a 1980s smash hit for Starship, now considered in most polls to be the worst song of all time. And just yesterday I saw a 2016 article that I hadn’t read before: “An Oral History of “We Built This […]

Singer-Songwriter in Recording Studio

Redefining How You Look at Your Songwriting Process

If you chat at all with songwriters, the word “process” comes up a lot, and most competent songwriters will express the importance of having a good one. But here’s the problem: if you use the same basic procedure for all your songs — the same process — you’ll wind up with songs that all sound pretty […]

Songwriting - Producer

Showing the World You’re Different

Are you afraid of having others hearing your songs? Do you lack artistic confidence? Writing songs means striking a balance between predictability and innovation. Every song is at least somewhat predictable. That’s partly how we have genres in the first place. And every song is at least somewhat innovative, or we hope so. If there’s […]

Singer - Songwriter

Locking Lyrics Into the Basic Beat of Your Song

When lyrics sound stiff or rhythmically awkward, it’s usually the case that the basic pulse and accents of the words and phrases aren’t being honoured by the pulse and feel of the music. One easy way to deal with this is to read your lyric aloud, getting a sense of the natural pulse of the […]

Singer - Songwriter

Choosing Topics Versus Choosing Words

It would be silly for me to try to say that the topic you choose for your song isn’t all that important. Of course it is. But audiences don’t connect easily with topics. And by “connect,” I mean feel something. Some topics come loaded with emotion, mind you, even by the mere mention of it: the […]