Band in rehearsal

Controlling the Energy Level of a Song

Musical energy is a subtle element. Most of the time people will think you’re talking about either loudness or rhythmic activity when you’re talking about energy. And while that’s often true, there’s a lot more to it. If you like starting songs by working out chord progressions, you need this eBook: “Writing a Song From […]

Songwriting in the studio

Songwriting and the Meaning of Music

When you think of the word meaning as it applies to your songs, are you talking about the picture that gets created from the lyrics? Or perhaps you’re talking about the picture that gets created from the sound of the instruments? For me, I pull more meaning out of the instrumental/vocal performance of a song than […]

Songwriter with guitar

Uniqueness is a Powerful and Necessary Element in Good Songwriting

If you take a look back at the best performers and bands from the past six or seven decades of pop music, there’s one thing you’ll see that’s in common with all of them: they were all able to produce songs where uniqueness was a vital factor. Uniqueness, at least from a songwriting/performing standpoint, does not […]

Neil Young

Your Songs – Your Personality

When you listen to the songs you’ve written, can you hear your personality coming through? I’m not talking about the performance of your song; in good musical performances we usually find it easy to hear and feel the personality of the performer. “Use Your Words! Developing a Lyrics-First Songwriting Process” is FREE with your purchase […]

singer-songwriter

Breaking the Logjam

If you’ve gotten partway through your next song, but you can’t seem to finish it, one of the best techniques for breaking the logjam is to take one aspect of your song and drastically change it. It can sound ridiculous at the time, but it can work. For example, if you’ve been working on something […]

Concert audience

Bach and Today’s Songwriters – Not So Far Apart

Tonight I have the thrill of conducting a performance of J.S. Bach’s “St. John Passion,” so I’ve had my head a little out of songwriting world while concentrating on preparing for that performance. I’ve mentioned Bach often on this blog in the past. And mostly because the way Bach composed is not that far off from […]