Lorde - Writer in the Dark

Balancing the Unique With the Heartfelt

Every songwriter I know wants to write something unique, and you don’t even need to wonder why. Simply put, uniqueness means it hasn’t been done before, and there’s no better way to set yourself apart from other songwriters than to write something that hasn’t been done quite that way before. While that may be true, […]

Guitar and music paper - Songwriting

Keep Looking: Second Ideas are Often Better Than First Ones

If you’ve had that happy circumstance where, while trying to write a song, you get some amazing ideas that appear all at once, and you manage to write that new song in one siting, within a half hour or so, I think that’s wonderful. It’s also rare. If hooks seem elusive when you’re trying to […]

The songwriting journey

Organizing Your Songwriting Sessions: Breaks are Important

Most songwriters have their own kind of writing schedule that works for them. Some work best when they have a project in mind — an album, let’s say, or perhaps a show — and so they work hard, day after day, being guided by the project. And then between projects, their writing slows down, and […]

Guitar, headphones and music

How Listening Makes You a Better Songwriter

As a songwriter, you do something that many people find difficult: you create new musical ideas and pull them all together into a final product called a song. You may be the kind of writer that finds it easy to do, so perhaps you’re writing a new song or two every week. But you might […]

Bruce Springsteen

The Importance of Balancing Section Lengths Within a Song

You’ll hear experienced songwriters and producers say that the chorus of a song should arrive before the 1-minute mark. This is particularly true of songs with moderate to quicker tempos. Slower ballads can tolerate longer verses, and so it might take a bit longer. That guideline is in place because producers like to ensure that […]

Troye Sivan

Pop’s Immediate Appeal Doesn’t Necessarily Mean That It’s Shallow

If hooks seem elusive when you’re trying to write a song, give this ebook a read: “Hooks and Riffs: How They Grab Attention, Make Songs Memorable, and Build Your Fan Base.” Get it separately, or as part of “The Essential Secrets of Songwriting 10-eBook Bundle.” On CBC Radio 1 last week, host Tom Power interviewed […]