Time to Throw out Your Songwriting Formula?

A  songwriting formula is a process. It’s the way you write, the procedure you follow for creating a new song. And it can be, over the long term, your worst enemy. Here’s why. The very term “formula” implies that it’s a method, or set of steps, that’s been done many times before. The good thing about that is […]

Songwriting Principle No. 11: A Good Hook Won't Save a Bad Song

Why do so many songwriters swear by the power of the hook? It’s because the hook, by definition, can reel in a listener, and keep them humming your song all day long, for days, weeks and even years to come You can’t ignore the power of a well-placed, well-composed hook to drive your song into […]

Songwriting Principle No. 9: Tracking the Rise and Fall of your Melodies

Writing a good melody requires several things all working together; chief among them are lyric and harmonies. A melody is good if it seems to complement the emotion of the lyric. The harmonies, of course, need to support the melody. Beyond that, there is another important issue which is often overlooked: melodic shape. Melodies need countour. While there […]

Songwriting Principle No. 8: The TONIC Note: Strengthening Your Song's Structure

The tonic note is the note that represents the key your song is in. So if you’re writing in G major, the tonic note is G. The tonic note is of tremendous value in strengthening your song’s overall structure; its importance cannot be overlooked. How you use it is what Songwriting Principle No. 8 is all about: The presence of […]

Your Song's Melody Needs Shape to Be Memorable

If your melody dwells mostly on one note, with only a few rises and dips, don’t be surprised if no one remembers it once the song is over.  In order for a song melody to be memorable, it needs to have shape. The issue of boring, forgettable melodies, occurs most frequently when you start the process […]