What If Your Songs Never Fully Satisfy You? Here’s How to Turn That Around

Do you ever find that while songwriting can be fun and rewarding, you rarely get that “wow, I really like what I wrote” feeling? Without having that feeling at least sometimes, you can feel more and more negative about your songwriting over time. Back in the days when I was teaching in the public school system, […]

Bruce Springsteen

The Slow-Building of a Fanbase

Most singer-songwriters want to build a fanbase, and the speed with which that base grows is usually seen as an indicator of general success. If you’re putting good music out there, of consistently excellent quality, your base will grow, and should do so quickly. If, however, your fanbase is growing slowly, don’t automatically assume that you’re […]

Beyoncé - Halo

Toplining: Which Principles of Songwriting Apply?

These days, many or most songs that are produced for broad commercial appeal (i.e., hit songs in the pop genres) use melodies written by “topliners.” A typical scenario might be that a producer sends out a pre-made instrumental track to musicians who can create melodies over these tracks. Someone comes up with melodies and lyrics to […]

Recording Studio

The New World of Songwriting – But Not That Different, Really

Today’s world of pop music can be a very insular one, in the sense that many “discoveries” pop musicians make about what people like aren’t really new after all. I’ve posted an article from the New Yorker recently, called “The Sound Machine,” about how hits are written today. In that article, Jay Brown (president of Roc Nation) said: “You’ve […]

Songwriter - Guitarist

Writing Songs that Go Against “Normal”

Writing music wouldn’t hold a lot of interest for us if everything was completely predictable. We like the fact that we think we’ve written something others will like too, but then we must wait and see what the final impact on an audience is. Over the past number of decades of pop music, there have been […]

Nuts & Bolts (Quite Literally…) and Music

The best songwriters are the ones that experience music in the most ways. ___________ Buy “The Essential Secrets of Songwriting” eBook Bundle, and get back to songwriting excellence. ___________ Follow me on this one: Every once in a while, I sit back here in my office and look around me at everything that’s been made by […]