Do Your Own Lyrics Speak To You?

When you write lyrics, do you hope that they speak loudly enough to someone else that they sit up and listen — that they can get something positive from your song’s message? There is an interview online with singer-songwriter Jason Mraz, and he was asked this: TT: You seem like a very positive person. What […]

Songwriter working out the next song

Songwriting, and Knowing Where to Start

If you’re a bit new to songwriting, there’s probably at least two things you’ve noticed already: Your first few songs may have come together quickly, and this is exciting. Your next few songs took hard work, and this is discouraging. Today, you don’t even know where to start. And because you don’t know where to start, […]

Properly Preparing the Chorus Hook

Here’s something interesting that you may not have noticed about the songs you love: the part you love may only be a few beats long. The rest of the song has the main duty of building up and leading to that great moment. Those first few beats are so enticing, so interesting, and so exciting, we […]

Guitar - piano

Following Your Heart

Everyone’s got an opinion. When it comes to your own songs, you hope everyone’s opinion is a good one. But if it isn’t, it can be discouraging. I practically never ask people what they think of anything I’ve ever written. That’s certainly not to say that I don’t ask for help or advice. When I was […]

Brian Wilson

Creating Musical Surprises In Your Chord Progressions

Chord progressions, even in music that sounds innovative or novel, are usually the most predictable part of a song’s design. A song might have lyrics that are hard to understand, and use odd instruments, time signatures or unpredictable melodic ideas, but chords are usually the most easily understood part. That’s why I often use landscape […]

Gordon Lightfoot - The Last Time I Saw Her

Song Lyrics: To Rhyme or Not To Rhyme

There’s an automatic assumption by many that song lyrics must rhyme. In actuality they don’t. Whether to rhyme or not is often dictated by the genre. Country and pop lyrics are more likely to feature rhyming, while other genres (progressive rock, for example) may not make any attempt to rhyme. To Rhyme So let’s look […]