Nirvana in concert

In Good Songwriting, Opposites Matter

Most songs make use of contrasting characteristics as a way of keeping listeners interested. You might get a song with a verse that’s quiet, at least in comparison to the chorus. “Smells Like Teen Sprit” (Nirvana) is a good example, and practically any power ballad. If you’re looking for one set of eBooks that will […]

Piano - songwriting

Writing Song Melodies, and What You Can Learn From “Heart and Soul”

“Heart and Soul“, that popular song that so many people like to plunk out mindlessly on piano, is a lot older than many realize. It was written in 1938 — 80 years ago! — by American songwriters Hoagy Carmichael and Frank Loesser. If you look up “infectious” in a music dictionary, don’t be too surprised […]

A Good Recording Needs a Good Song As a Starting Point

I still believe that no matter how excellent the quality of gear is these days, and how easy it is to do your own sound recording, that if you really want an excellent product to “shop around,” it’s a great idea to hire a professional producer. A producer is positioned to be more objective about […]

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 […]

Eric Clapton

Consistency: The Most Important Songwriting Quality

The term one-hit wonder, in the realm of music, refers to a performer that manages to make the charts only once in their career. The actual definition is complex, but suffice it to say that it typically refers to a performer or band that makes one appearance on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, and no other appearances. Less […]

Songwriter

Becoming and Staying Consistent As a Songwriter

When you wrote your first song, you likely didn’t immediately self-identify as a songwriter. But there came a point, almost without thinking about it, where it seemed obvious to you that you were indeed a songwriter. That meant that you had written at least several songs, and that you derived creative satisfaction from doing so. […]