Writing Good Song Lyrics

5 Chord Progressions for Minor Key Verses

Each eBook in “The Essential Secrets of Songwriting” 10-eBook Bundle shows you the fundamental principles that make great songs great. Comes with a FREE DEAL. Choosing a minor key for your verse has at least two nice benefits: It allows for the potential of switching to a major key for the chorus, and that sense […]

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 […]

Musical inspiration

A New (Old?) Way of Writing Lyrics

I’m fond of pointing out the similarities between all the different genres of music, because it reminds me that no matter what style of music we call our own, we’re all trying to do the same thing: touch the emotional soul of the audience. For most musical genres, the main differences with songs lie in […]

Bob Dylan - 1962

How to Know Which Songs Are Good Ones to Study

For musicology students who delve mainly in the world of Classical music, history has a way of filtering out “bad” music, leaving them with what might otherwise be known as “the hits.” And there are lots of them to study. Ask those same students to list every Classical composer they know, and they’ll be able […]

Joni Mitchell

Theme and Variations as a Songwriting Technique

A common musical form that classical composers have loved for centuries is theme and variations; a melody is repeated, changed in some way, but still similar enough to the original that it’s recognizable. It was a measure of a composer’s musical imagination, and fun for an audience to hear what might happen next with the […]

Bridging the Gap Between Classical and Pop Songwriting

There are many differences between classical music and pop music. Some of those differences are easy to hear. For example, pop music often relies on rhythmic syncopations and obvious rhythmic grooves, while classical music tends to use syncopation sparingly, and not in a way that sets up a groove. You’ll also notice that pop music tends to […]