Winter scene - Holiday classic

Can You Write a Holiday Classic? Start With a Family Classic

It seems that the songs that everyone really wants to hear during the Christmas season are the classics — the ones that have been around for the past 7 or 8 decades, or even longer. It begs the question: Can anyone write a new holiday tune that has a hope of taking its place along […]

Folk singer-songwriter

Evaluating Your Own Songs Is Part of the Songwriting Process

When you’ve written a song, it might seem like a logical next-step to ask someone, “What do you think of it?” You might post it online, and hope that others weigh in on what the song sounds like to them. The hope is that the feedback will allow you to dig back into the song […]

Singer - Songwriter - Lyricist

Getting Your Verse to Properly Prepare the Chorus

What are the main differences between a verse and chorus that you should be concerned about as a songwriter? You’re likely aware of all the commonly-known ones: Keep the verse melodic range a bit below the chorus. Allow melody notes of the chorus to elongate, especially on title words. Prevent your verse lyric from getting […]

Guitarist - Songwriter

Got the Free Songwriter’s Checklist?

Every once in a while I like to remind my readers of my free eBook, “The Songwriter’s Checklist”, available for download here. I created a short explanatory video last year when I did the most recent update to this eBook. In that video, I explain when it’s a good idea to use a checklist, and […]

songwriter improvising melodies and chords

Improving Your Ability to Imagine Melodies

If the songs you write come about as a result of improvising — either by yourself or with other songwriters/players — you probably find that the various components of a song come together in layers. A bit of this, a bit of that, and it all eventually glues together. If you’re writing songs by yourself, […]