The Moody Blues - Nights in White Satin

Going From Simple to Complex In Your Songwriting Process

“Nights in White Satin” (1967) is one of The Moody Blues’ biggest hits. Most people know it in its “single” version — a bit over 4 minutes in length. But its full-length version, complete with orchestral introduction and interlude by the London Festival Orchestra, is a multi-sectional work of more than 9 minutes – a […]

Rock Concert

The Courage to Be You

People who don’t write songs (or choreograph ballets, or write plays, novels, poetry…) can be forgiven for not understanding how the word courage has anything to do with the creative arts. For any songwriter who composes truly original music, who has more of an interest in being themselves than simply giving the public what they want, knows that courage is […]

Guitarist - Singer - Songwriter

How Pretending Can Help Your Songwriting Process

I’ve seen a quote online, attributed to James Taylor, that goes, “I started being a songwriter pretending I could do it, and it turned out I could.” It’s worth thinking about that statement, because there’s a positive aspect to it, pertaining to one’s basic zeal for songwriting: “If I just dive in, acting as if […]

Guitarist - Songwriter

Songwriting Excellence Comes From Discipline and Consistency

Writing a great song is the dream of every songwriter, but one excellent song doesn’t necessarily point to consistency. There are many one-hit wonders, many songwriters who have been able to write something amazing, but have been unable to follow it up with another excellent song. I write about consistency a lot on this blog, […]

Singer-Songwriter recording

Your Start Influences Your Finish

Here’s an experiment you can try: take your favourite song and play the first 10 or 15 seconds of it, and then listen to the last 10 or 15 seconds and compare. What do you notice? For most songs, you’ll hear a strong similarity between the beginning and the end. Generally, the feel, key, tempo […]

Songwriter

Writing Before Knowing

You’d be in good company if you said that every time you sit down to write a new song, you’d like to know what you’re writing about. It doesn’t make sense to start the actual writing of a song without knowing something about what you’re trying to say. Or perhaps it does. You might think that […]