guitar - keyboard - headphones

Creating Chord Progression Motifs

In music, a motif is a short fragment of music that gets developed and repeated throughout the length of a song. The repetition aspect of a motif makes it similar to a hook. But a hook generally repeats verbatim; it generally sounds the same each time we hear it, like “She loves you, yeah, yeah, […]

Ten of the Most Important Things a Songwriter Should Remember

There are things a songwriter should remember because they’ll result in better songs. There are other things that will result in a happier you. From time to time, you need to sit back and bring those things to mind. I write music almost every day. Sometimes they’re arrangements of already-existing songs (folk songs, for example). […]

Composing Your Own Descant Melody

Every year I have the best of intentions to write a post or two regarding writing holiday music, good and early so that songwriters can actually use the information! And then, usually due to my own busy schedule this time of year, I don’t get it done. But I thought I’d write this quick one […]

Bruno Mars

Making Song Melodies Memorable and Singable

There is an important aspect of a good song melody that the average listener is not much aware of: shape. Good melodies need an engaging shape — something that is memorable, enticing, and (at least relatively) easy to sing. In fact, song melodies need even more. They need to partner with a lyric so that […]

Daniel Merriweather - Adele

Making Melody Your Song’s Most Important Ingredient

Not every song is about the melody. For songs where the melody is kind of a neutral player, you’ll typically find that the rhythmic treatments, (especially background) will step up and take a leading role. In other words, the groove and feel become very important contributors. How you know that a melody is acting as a […]

8 Tips for Making Melodies and Lyrics Your Songs’ Best Features

Songs are vehicles that take a listener on a 3-4 minute journey. However interesting and captivating that journey is, that’s the measure of a song’s success. Since songs are partnerships of many different elements all working together — melodies, lyrics, chords, instrumentation/production, tempo, time signature and more — it can seem to be a daunting task […]