Band in rehearsal

Controlling the Energy Level of a Song

Musical energy is a subtle element. Most of the time people will think you’re talking about either loudness or rhythmic activity when you’re talking about energy. And while that’s often true, there’s a lot more to it. If you like starting songs by working out chord progressions, you need this eBook: “Writing a Song From […]

Worrying about writer's block

Are You Dealing With Writer’s Block — Or Is It Just Normal Downtime?

Writer’s block is lousy when it happens, but most of the time it’s either mild or moderate, and given time, it will usually solve itself. Severe writer’s block is a more worrying creative block, because it can sometimes be very long term, or even permanent. But you likely don’t have that, so don’t worry about it. […]

chord progressions

My Guest Article at Songwriting.net: Chord Progressions

I was asked by the folks over at Songwriting.net to write an article for their website. They posted it yesterday, entitled “7 Ideas for Creating Chord Progressions.” I hope you’ll take a look. I’ve put a short excerpt below: There are basic principles about the way chords work that aren’t much affected by genre. What […]

Peter Gabriel

The Best Songs Fluctuate Between Fragile and Strong Moments

I talk a lot about the concept of “fragile” versus “strong” in songwriting, and particularly when I’m talking about chord progressions. In that regard, “strong” means “clearly indicating the key with a short, unambiguous set of chord changes.” With chords, “fragile” means the opposite: making the key less clear — less obvious, by creating a […]

songwriting technique

Finding Good Musicians to Get Feedback For Your Songs

It makes sense that if you want good feedback on your songs, you’ll want to run them by good, experienced songwriters. After all, they’ve been there; they know the struggles it takes to get a song working, and can (hopefully) pass their experience on to you. But have you considered musicians other than songwriters as […]