Dealing With Online Haters

The Immediacy of Opinions

They say everyone has an opinion. As a songwriter, though, you deal with an aspect of modern life that people even just 15 years ago didn’t have to deal with: how quickly an online consumer of your music will offer that opinion. It’s not just the immediacy of opinions, though. If you’re involved in the […]

Band in rehearsal

Dealing With “To Be Continued” in Songwriting

When I’m watching a drama on network television, I know that I have to deal with constant stoppages in the action. It’s those commercial breaks that pay the bills, and so they’re important. Those commercial breaks probably make TV executives very nervous: it’s during the breaks that I’m most likely to switch stations and try […]

guitarist - songwriter

When Practice Might Not Make Perfect

We use the expression “practice makes perfect” to remind ourselves that simply knowing something isn’t enough. Once armed with knowledge, you need to put it to work for you. And that’s the practice part. In school you learned the basic concepts of mathematics. Once you acquired that knowledge, your teacher gave you endless exercises to help you […]

Rob Thomas

Increasing Musical Energy In a Song

It’s a basic principle of good songwriting that musical energy should either stay the same or increase — rarely decrease — as a song progresses. If you listen to the start of Verse 1 end of most songs, and then skip ahead to the final moments, you’ll notice that an energy build has taken place. […]

Imogen Heap

Finding Opposites Within Your Songs

There’s an analogy to be found that applies well to songwriting when you look at someone walking: as the right leg moves forward, the left leg moves back. If you haven’t noticed that before, you haven’t been paying attention. 😉 In music, a similar thing happens, though you may have to look a little harder […]

Songwriter improvisation

Can You Have Bad Songwriting Instincts?

When we talk about an instinct, we’re usually referring to something that’s born within us, something for which we have an obvious talent or aptitude. In common usage, we usually take the term even further and say that an instinct is something that we do without thinking. (“A bird flew toward my car as I […]