Singer-songwriter-guitarist

How to Write Song Melodies that Connect With Your Audience

For some songwriters, songwriting seems to be all about writing a great melody. Paul McCartney, Joni Mitchell, Paul Simon, Barry Gibb — these are all songwriters for whom the success of their songs is often easily attributable to the quality of the melodies they write. I mention this, because not all great songs need to […]

songwriter

Your Favourite Part: Does Your Song Have a WOW Moment?

For every song you know, you likely can name a favourite part — something specific about that song you really like. Sometimes, it may just be a single word, and the way the singer performs it. It might be a specific line in a guitar solo, or even just one note in that solo. If […]

U2 - Sunday Bloody Sunday

Five Questions About Any Good Song You Should Be Able to Answer

If you’re looking to improve your songwriting abilities, you can do no better than to look to some of the best songs written, and then figure out how the writers of those songs were able to write them. Then hopefully, you can apply what you learn to your own songs. It’s not usually that easy, […]

John Legend

The Benefit of Leaving Lyrics to the Last Step

It’s a good idea to come up with a song topic and perhaps a few snippets of lyric fairly early in the songwriting process. Having the topic gives you a direction for your musical mind, and every line of lyric you generate adds to your song’s character. Thousands of songwriters are using “The Essential Secrets […]

songwriter - guitarist

Too Much of a Good Thing

This post contains some additional thoughts on my previous post about motifs. As you know, a motif is a repeating figure (melodic, rhythmic, or any other musical fragment) that adds strength to the structure of a song. But it begs the question: is it possible for a song to feature too many repeating things? When is […]

Big Star - Thirteen

Writing Melodies to Match the Mood of Your Lyrics

Once in a while I look back in my blog archive just to remind myself of the kinds of things I was writing about a few years ago. I came across an analysis I did in 2013 of the song “Thirteen”, by Big Star, which they wrote and recorded in 1971. That’s a song that still […]