Neil Young

Are Preachy Lyrics a Problem?

I remember reading an interview with Bob Dylan once, during which he was asked his opinion on the state of the world. I don’t remember his specific words, but the gist of what he replied was, “Why are you asking me? I’m just a musician. I have opinions, but they’re no more informed than anyone […]

Guitarist - Songwriter

5 Common Songwriting Problems, and How to Deal With Them

If you spend any time on YouTube, you can get a pretty clear idea of what songwriters find difficult. It’s there for all to see and hear. It’s the double-edged of social media: it can get your music out there to a large audience right away, but also displays any weaknesses or issues right away. […]

Nickelback

Five Songwriting Ponderables

Do you ever find that when you’re talking to other musicians about music in general, there’s a list of “the things you’re most likely to say” guiding your conversations? Everyone has their big issues in music. Their pet peeves. Their guiding principles. Their “why do people think this way!?” kind of rants. There are many […]

Guitar, Pencil & Paper

Who Do You Ask?

If you visit any of the many online songwriting forums, you’ll know that the most common comment/question you’ll find is some variation on “What do you think of my new song?” Who do you ask when you need help with a song? The songwriters asking for online opinions tend to be newbies who are genuinely wondering […]

Genesis

Becoming Positively Critical of Your Own Music

No one likes negative reviews. You put your heart and soul into the music you write, and then someone says that the lyric doesn’t work, or the instrumentation feels wrong, or they simply… don’t like it. If there’s a way to put your emotional reaction to a bad review aside, you’ll find that you will […]

Songwriter - Guitarists

Learning From Songwriting Mistakes and Successes

Sometimes you’ll find that a song you’ve written will succeed even when it seems to violate some of the basic principles of good songwriting. It might be a melody that just lingers around one or two notes, when our instincts tell us that good melodies should have a nice up-and-down shape. Or it might be […]