Peter Gabriel - My Body is a Cage

Making Imagery An Important Part of Your Lyrics

At its heart, imagery is a simple concept. When you write something that causes images in the mind of the listener, you’ve just made use of imagery. You could argue that imagery, therefore, happens all the time. I could say “I went to a baseball game this afternoon,” and you likely will get images in your […]

Songwriter - Guitarist

Finding the Meaning of Your Song Before the Lyrics Happen

Though everyone has a favourite way of starting songs, I think it’s fair to say that most people will use many different processes, depending on what musical idea pops into their head at the start of a session. Some typical ways of starting: Setting up a percussion loop and improvise over it, using the mood […]

Eminim - Lose Yourself

Making Your Song Intro More Captivating

Intros are meant to identify a song, and, more importantly, entice people to keep listening. They do this usually by setting up the mood, the key and tempo (though not necessarily, as you’ll see below). A good intro acts an identifying banner or flag for the rest of the song. If you find yourself always […]

Guitar - songwriting

Getting Control of the Character of Your Songs

What do we mean by a song’s “character?” In most cases, we’re talking about the mood or feel that we pick up from it. And we have all sorts of words that might otherwise be described as “character” words: “gentle”, “edgy”, “aggressive”, “laid back”, “dark”, and so on. Whether we know it or not, a […]

Songwriter

Writing Before Knowing

You’d be in good company if you said that every time you sit down to write a new song, you’d like to know what you’re writing about. It doesn’t make sense to start the actual writing of a song without knowing something about what you’re trying to say. Or perhaps it does. You might think that […]

Why Writing From a Title Works So Well

In considering the many ways that songwriters start the songwriting process, working from a title is, in my opinion, one of the best. The reason comes down to one word: focus. To tell you more about what I mean, consider one of the other common ways to get the process started: working from a chord progression. […]