Singer-Songwriter

Becoming Better at the Language of Music

It’s common to hear people describe music as a kind of language. And it’s not hard to see why the comparison is made. With a language, we learn words and phrases that communicate thoughts and ideas to others. And in a very real sense, that’s what music is. Sometimes, the actual thing we’re communicating may not […]

Pat Metheny

Melodies, Chords and Feel – Musical Ideas from Pat Metheny

I’ve been watching Rick Beato’s interview with jazz guitarist Pat Metheny. It’s really great, and filled with a ton of information that’s incredibly helpful for musicians trying to make a go of it in the professional music world. I think what I love about it is that there’s very little time spent talking about gear, […]

Joni Mitchell - Little Green

Great Songs Are the Best Teachers We Have

Recently the music world has been noting and celebrating the fifty-year anniversary of Joni Mitchell’s 1971 album “Blue.” If you know this album, you will know that many will tell you that the lyrics are its most powerful element. And I agree with that sentiment. There’s not a weak song on the album. When you […]

Guitar - chords - songwriter

What Kind of Help are Songwriters Looking For?

I’ve been writing this blog since 2008, and every once in a while I check my most popular posts, just to see what kind of help songwriters are looking for. Back in the early days, there was a  clear indicator that it was articles about chord progressions that got the most visits. Then, starting around […]

Bob Marley

Solidifying Chorus Rhythms to Help the Chorus Hook

Try this little experiment the next time you’re listening to music on the radio. Put your radio in an automatic scan mode, where it moves through the dial, stopping on radio stations as it finds them, and then plays 7 or 8 seconds before moving on. As it stops at each new station (and assuming […]

The Chieftains

It Doesn’t Take Much

Every once in a while I write a blog post that refers to the importance of repetition in music, and how song melodies without repetition are problematic because they’re hard to remember. We already know the power and need for repetition in music when it comes to basic elements like the backing rhythms. Most songs […]