baseball player - home run

Hit Songs and Home Runs

Songwriters sure can put a lot of pressure on themselves to be constantly great. Consistent excellence is in fact something I talk a lot about, and through this blog and through online sessions I try to help songwriters to achieve that goal. But success can be measured in many ways. If a song needs to […]

guitarist - songwriter

Using Chord Progression Sleight-of-Hand In a Song’s Bridge

This is a bit of an addition to yesterday’s post, in which I gave some thoughts on the melody and lyrics of Bruce Springsteen’s “Hungry Heart“. There’s one other aspect of this song that deserves a quick mention: the key change at the song’s instrumental bridge (at 1’38”). The song is in C# major. We […]

Songwriting

Looking Inward to Get the Best Advice On Your Songwriting

Social media makes it easy to seek advice on your songwriting. In fact, it doesn’t just make it easy — it makes it likely that you’re going to play your newly written song for others and then ask opinions. Take a look at today’s Songwriting Reddit and see how many are asking for help. If you’re […]

Guitar, headphones and music

Using the Best Practices of Music Schools To Improve Your Songwriting

I don’t want to give the impression that how schools approach the learning of a subject is always the best way forward. Sometimes it seems that schools are high on delivering course outlines and a bit scant on practical guidance. If you’re at school to learn history or business administration, that approach of starting with […]

Guitar, paper and pencil

Adding Focus to Your Lyrics With a Short Story

Most songs aren’t specifically “story songs”; they don’t use lyrics that say “first this happened, and then that happened.” It’s usually the case that listeners will infer the story by the various lines within the lyric. It sounds complicated, but most song lyrics work this way. When we hear the lines of a lyric, our […]

Piano - songwriter - theory

Using Music Theory to Communicate Your Musical Ideas

There’s a persistent myth in the songwriting world that the more music theory you know, the more your songwriting will suffer. If you believe this, you’re missing out on truly understanding what music theory is, and how you could be using it to your advantage. If you want some evidence for the power of music […]