songwriting and architecture

The Architecture of Songwriting, and Changing Your Mind

Building a structure means having a plan before you start. If you’re not an architect, you’ll likely hire one, someone who knows how to create something beautiful while also being mindful of the laws of physics; you want to be sure it doesn’t fall down. Songs have a structure as well. And while I think […]

songwriter

However Long It Takes

How long does it take you to write a song? There’s  common opinion amongst songwriters that the quicker it happens, the better it is. Lots of people will brag about how quickly a song came together for them, but there are few who brag about a song that’s taken months or years. In the fairly […]

Adele

Delaying the Chorus by Using a Pre-Chorus

The conventional wisdom is that a song’s chorus should be happening by the time you get to the 1-minute mark, or even sooner. A chorus that happens after the 1-minute mark can work just fine, though, particularly if the song is in a slow ballad style. Deciding when it feels right for the chorus to […]

Microphone

The Wait

Waiting for inspiration might be one of the biggest wastes of time in songwriting, and in other creative arts. It’s true that from time to time you’re just not feeling creative. And the solution always seems to be: just wait for it. But waiting is often not the best way forward. It should be no surprise […]

singer-songwriter

Breaking the Logjam

If you’ve gotten partway through your next song, but you can’t seem to finish it, one of the best techniques for breaking the logjam is to take one aspect of your song and drastically change it. It can sound ridiculous at the time, but it can work. For example, if you’ve been working on something […]

Songwriter - calculating a new key

Moving Your Song’s Key Upward For the Chorus

I remember a while ago listening to someone’s song, trying to analyze what the problem with the chorus was. The songwriter had sent it to me, telling me that she felt the song started with great promise, but halfway through the chorus, everything sounded underwhelming. In that particular song, we diagnosed the problem as being […]