John Newman - Losing Sleep

The Most Common Melody Problem Songwriters Need to Know About

For most songs, a good melody is crucial because it gives the listener something to hum after they’ve heard it. There are all kinds of melodies — from the ones that use one phrase over and over again (“Free Fallin’” – Tom Petty), to the ones that move up and down and encompass much of […]

Song Form

What Songwriters Need to Know About Song Form

Form is one of those words that can cause songwriters’ eyes to glaze over. It sounds like a term that’s only going to help other people understand what you’ve written, but not help the songwriter so much. Got a melody but don’t know how to add chords to make it come alive? “How to Harmonize a […]

Bruce Springsteen

The Importance of Balancing Section Lengths Within a Song

You’ll hear experienced songwriters and producers say that the chorus of a song should arrive before the 1-minute mark. This is particularly true of songs with moderate to quicker tempos. Slower ballads can tolerate longer verses, and so it might take a bit longer. That guideline is in place because producers like to ensure that […]

Songwriter

Fitting Parts Together to Create a Song

Most of the time, you write songs where all the sections (verse, chorus, etc.) are written as part of the same process. You might write a chorus hook, and then you work on a verse that will partner well with it, and so on. But you likely have bits of songs that you’ve written over […]

Gotye

Lyrics Need to Support the Form of Your Song

When you look at a song’s lyric as displayed on a website or written down on paper, you’re not often aware that the nature of the lyric changes as the song progresses. But it does, and it’s important to get this right if you’re the lyricist. When we talk about a song’s form, at least in […]

Songwriting - Editing Lyrics

The Power (and Necessity) of Editing Your Songs

The best editing in the creative arts makes things shorter, not longer. That’s not a rule, and it’s not exclusively true, but it’s almost always the case. Pop songs tend to be 3-4 minutes in length. That’s usually because of the subject matter. People think it’s because we don’t have attention spans that will allow […]