Classical guitar - songwriting

A Short Excerpt from “Hooks and Riffs”

The eBook “Hooks and Riffs: How They Grab Attention, Make Songs Memorable, and Build Your Fan Base” is part of “The Essential Secrets of Songwriting 10-eBook Bundle.” In it, you’ll learn why the hook is such a crucial part of pop songwriting, and why so many songwriting successes comes down to the success of the […]

Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers

Using Melodic Direction to Act as Musical Glue

Though for the best part of my music career I analyze songs and pull them apart to better understand them, I’m just like any other consumer of music: I want to be entertained. That means when I listen to music, I’m not always critiquing. Sometimes, like you, I just want to sit back and enjoy what […]

Alan Parsons Project

Using Musical Motifs as a Kind of “Signature”

You may have heard the word motif before and wondered what it is, and how it might apply to songwriting. It’s a term that’s somewhat similar to hook — and that’s a word you’re probably a lot more familiar with. A hook is a musical idea that repeats throughout a song, though we often associate it chiefly […]

Microphone

Songwriting Principles Are Often Clearer In Older Songs

Sometimes you’ll find that studying songs from a genre not your own is a really great way to expand on what you do. Songwriting principles usually apply across genres, and hearing a principle demonstrated in a different genre can act as a kind of metaphor for your own. The same thing happens when you study […]

Bruno Mars - The Lazy Song

Making the Best Use of Motifs in Your Songwriting

For most songwriters, defining a hook is simple: it’s that catchy bit that makes up the main part of the chorus. It usually comes back over and over because that’s what choruses do — they reappear after every verse, and then again after the bridge. A hook is good if it has a melodic shape […]

guitar - keyboard - headphones

Creating Chord Progression Motifs

In music, a motif is a short fragment of music that gets developed and repeated throughout the length of a song. The repetition aspect of a motif makes it similar to a hook. But a hook generally repeats verbatim; it generally sounds the same each time we hear it, like “She loves you, yeah, yeah, […]