Singer - Open mic

When a Song Sounds Bad, Take a Look at the Structure Underneath

When a song sounds great, we like to think that there’s a certain magic involved. But if you are a student of songwriting, as most good songwriters consider themselves to be, you’ll know that it’s not magic that makes a song great. A song sounds great when it follows basic musical principles. And we love […]

Songwriter - Guitarist

Songwriting: The Mountain Climbing of Music

Everyone has their favourite songwriting process. For you, it might be strumming some chords and see what kind of mood you can create, and then come up with a melody. Or perhaps you like working out a bit of lyric, almost like a poem, and then see what musical ideas come from those words. And […]

pharrell-williams

A Solution For Aimless Lyrics: The One-Sentence Summary

An aimless lyric, as the term implies, is one that keeps changing its direction, so it’s hard for an audience to get a handle on what the song is actually about. It’s a common problem in lyric writing. If your own lyrics seem aimless, that’s usually because you’ve spent a good amount of time getting […]

Songwriting analysis

Stuck in a Songwriting Rut? Here’s How to Break Some Bad Habits

Occasionally I write about the benefit that comes from analyzing your own songs. The biggest benefit that comes from self-analysis is that you get a clear picture of the kinds of things you like to write about; the words and phrases that seem to occur most in your lyric; the kinds of chords you typically […]

Singer - Songwriter

Showing Your Audience Exactly Who You Are

You’d be surprised how much of a strong role honesty plays in how your song comes across to an audience. Honesty, from a audience’s perspective, is simply this: Are you writing music that accurately reflects the person you are. You can spend an awful lot of time trying to figure out what your target audience wants […]

Songwriter with guitar

Giving Chorus Lyrics the Emotional Boost They Need

Sometimes you’ll hear a songwriter criticize their lyrics, saying that the chorus “falls flat.” That kind of criticism usually means that the chorus lyrics aren’t generating the kind of emotional response from the listener they were hoping for. You’ll notice that I say “generating”, because that’s exactly what a good chorus lyric does. It doesn’t […]