Songwriting

The Five Most Important Tips For Writing Powerful Song Lyrics

You might think that the topic of your song is going to be the most important part of writing a good song lyric, but that’s not the case. Most listeners can enjoy a song even if the lyrics are so abstract that they don’t even know what the song is about. Lennon & McCartney’s “I […]

Elvis Presley

Providing Contrast in a Song That Uses a Lot of Repetition

In songwriting, the term contrast refers to providing opposite-sounding characteristics to any one song component: melodies that move higher, then lower; chords that are mainly minor, then major; instrumentation that’s at one point soft, then loud, and so on. It’s not important that every element within a song show a degree of contrast. For example, you can […]

Harry Styles - As It Was

The Melodic Rhythms in Harry Styles’ “As It Was”

If you’ve been reading my blog at all, you know that even though I love complexity in songwriting, I have a deep appreciation for musical simplicity. There’s something enticing about just letting a simple melody have its way. A perfect recent example of how a simple song can soar to the top of the charts […]

John Legend

The Rhythm of the Chorus Hook: It Matters

Even if a song’s chorus hook happens by pure musical instinct, there are several characteristics that are usually present in most of them: They’re rhythmically interesting. It’s usually a short, catchy melodic idea that’s easy for a listener to remember. The chords are simple and tonally strong (they strongly imply the key of the chorus). […]

Classical guitar - songwriting

A Short Excerpt from “Hooks and Riffs”

The eBook “Hooks and Riffs: How They Grab Attention, Make Songs Memorable, and Build Your Fan Base” is part of “The Essential Secrets of Songwriting 10-eBook Bundle.” In it, you’ll learn why the hook is such a crucial part of pop songwriting, and why so many songwriting successes comes down to the success of the […]

Microphone

Creating Momentum (Forward Motion) in a Song

Momentum is not easy to identify in music, but you know you’re experiencing it when you feel the need to keep listening. As you listen, you get an impression of a kind of musical tension — tension that needs to find a release. And as the listener, you need to wait long enough to hear […]