Creating Musical Ideas

What To Do When Lyrics Sound Forced

The best lyrics, whether they’re straight-forward (“Somebody That I Used to Know” (Gotye), for example), or complex (“Roundabout” – Jon Anderson/Steve Howe), share an important feature: they typically use words that you’d find in casual conversation. Take some time to look at the lyric sheets of your favourite songs, and no matter what genre you […]

Paul McCartney - White Album Sessions

The Difference Between Meaning and Message

If you wish that your songs had better lyrics, and you’re actively working on improving that aspect of your songwriting, that is definitely time well spent. Meaningful, powerful lyrics will likely be studied and admired long after practically any other element of songs. In the writing of more poignant lyrics, it’s worth noting that meaning and meaningful […]

Songwriter - Synth

Experimenting To Get a Better Verse For Your Song

You’ll wind up with a better song if you’re willing to experiment and change the things you’ve written. You like to think of your song as being kind of like your “baby” — you’re willing to accept it, warts and all. But before you fall irretrievably in love with your song, experimenting by changing bits […]

Singer - Open mic

When a Song Sounds Bad, Take a Look at the Structure Underneath

When a song sounds great, we like to think that there’s a certain magic involved. But if you are a student of songwriting, as most good songwriters consider themselves to be, you’ll know that it’s not magic that makes a song great. A song sounds great when it follows basic musical principles. And we love […]

Songwriter - Guitarist

Songwriting: The Mountain Climbing of Music

Everyone has their favourite songwriting process. For you, it might be strumming some chords and see what kind of mood you can create, and then come up with a melody. Or perhaps you like working out a bit of lyric, almost like a poem, and then see what musical ideas come from those words. And […]

Song Melody

The Power of a Great Song Melody

Robin Gibb once said that a great song is all about a great melody. It really depends on the genre, but most of the time I think he’s right. When you’ve hooked a listener with a good melody, you’ve given them something to hum — something to remember. A great melody is a powerful way […]