Simply Red - If You Don't Know Me By Now

What You Need to Know About the Rhythms of Your Melodies

Most of the time you probably don’t think a lot about the rhythms you use for your melodies. That’s because the rhythm is usually determined by the lyric. The words you use will tell you what the rhythms are going to be. Many songs live or die on the quality of its hook. “Hooks and […]

Eric Carmen

What Can You Really Learn From an Old Song?

From our standpoint here in 2021, it may be hard to hear the difference between a song written and recorded today, and one that was done, say, three years ago. Ten years ago? You start to hear some differences. And if you go back a few decades, to the 80s for example, there are lots […]

Guitar - Songwriter

Setting Yourself Up for Successful Songwriting

For some, songwriting is the kind of thing that happens “on the fly”, at least in the sense that you can come up with a great idea when you least expect it. But if for you, songwriting is always like that — where you write songs when ideas happen to pop into your brain, you’ll probably […]

Joni Mitchell

Viewing Your Songs in Chronological Order

All songwriters fight with frustration. I’d say that if you don’t get frustrated from time to time, you’re not growing the way you should. Artistic growth requires getting excited about what you’re writing, but it also requires feeling dissatisfied. Dissatisfaction is not a negative reaction if you use it to propel you forward. Chapter 5 of […]

songwriter's challenges

Starting Songs: Building On that First Idea

A common stumbling block for songwriters is: how to continue a song once that initial song idea has been created. It can feel very discouraging, because often that first song idea happens easily, and you feel excited for what’s to come. And then… nothing. I wrote about this a week or so ago, and in […]

Songwriter

Imagining That Your Unfinished Song is Actually Already Finished

When every song you start seems to grind to a halt, and finishing it seems difficult or impossible, you’ve got the makings of writer’s block. Your musical imagination can help you through a creative block. But you’re likely thinking, “HOW can I use my musical imagination to help me, since it’s my lack of imagination […]