Guitarist - songwriter

Songwriting: Creating Instant Gratification

One thing all pop music subgenres have in common, with the possible exception of progressive rock, is that the songs are short. Most of the time you need to offer your audience a complete work of artistic expression that lasts four minutes or less. In the creative arts, that’s not very long. Back in the […]

songwriter's challenges

The Most Important Part of Being a Student of Songwriting

The best songwriters that I know consider themselves to be “students” of songwriting, even if only in an unofficial sense. They consider every song that they hear to be an opportunity to learn something. The problem with being a student of songwriting is that we all hold very strong opinions about music. We have our […]

Singer-songwriter

Five Ways to Write Better Songs

There are many ways to improve your skills as a songwriter, and the best songwriters use a combination of many. These will include: Discussions with other songwriters. Discussions with other non-songwriting musicians (including players, producers, engineers, etc.) Studying the craft of songwriting (via written texts, videos, one-on-one sessions with instructors, etc.) Keeping a songwriting journal […]

Songwriter working at a keyboard

Think Small to Keep Feeling Creative

What do you do when you’ve got a day — or a week or a month — where your creative juices are letting you down? What do you do when songwriting, which used to be fun, exciting and fulfilling, is now frustrating? Feeling that you’re getting nowhere with your songwriting often comes from setting the […]

Band rehearsal session

When Songs Are Boring: Top 5 Reasons

If you want success in writing music, you need to be able to listen to your own music objectively, and to be able to judge it objectively. I’ve written a lot on this blog about how to do that (here’s one article, for example: How Objective Listening Improves Your Songwriting). To listen objectively ends up being this: […]

Singer-Songwriter

How Good Songwriters Listen to Music

As an unofficial “student of songwriting,” you’re curious. You’re not content to just enjoy music — you want to know why some songs sound great, and then you want to apply what you learn to make your own songs sound great. Simply stated, if you aren’t curious, you aren’t a songwriter. If you’re ready to […]