Guitar, paper and pencil

Adding Focus to Your Lyrics With a Short Story

Most songs aren’t specifically “story songs”; they don’t use lyrics that say “first this happened, and then that happened.” It’s usually the case that listeners will infer the story by the various lines within the lyric. It sounds complicated, but most song lyrics work this way. When we hear the lines of a lyric, our […]

Rock band in concert

A Song Hook’s Rhythm and Melody, and How They Pair Up

Good songs don’t follow rules; it’s more a case of following guidelines. That means that every time you think you’ve identified a songwriting “rule”, you can come up with a list of songs that don’t follow it. Here’s a good example: if you look at a hundred different songs and try to identify the characteristics […]

The Who

Is Your Song Intro Inviting Your Audience to Keep Listening?

The intro of your song is that one section that’s part songwriting, part production. In other words, for many songs you can take the existing intro away, replace it with some other intro, and the song is still essentially the same. In that sense, a song intro can be decided upon during the production stage […]

Lyricist - Songwriter

You Love Lyrics, But Can’t Start a Song That Way?

If for you the lyric of a song is the most important feature, you’re definitely on the right track. Those songwriters who become most well-known and who have the most powerful legacies are the ones for whom lyrics are the most poignant part of the final product. “Hooks and Riffs: How They Grab Attention, Make […]

Songwriter-Guitarist tuning

Deciding If Your Song Needs a Bridge (Middle-8)

A bridge is the section of a song that typically comes after the second chorus in verse-chorus songs. In verse-only songs, like “I Should Have Known Better” (Lennon & McCartney), the bridge will usually come after the second verse. For many songwriters, the question of whether or not to use a bridge (or any other […]

Imagine Dragons

The Main Differences Between Verse and Chorus Chord Progressions

Learn all the important secrets of writing a song using the chords-first process. “Writing a Song From a Chord Progression” shows you the best way forward. Some songs will use the same chord progression for the verse and the chorus: “With Or Without You” (U2), or “Believer” (Imagine Dragons), for example. Songs that use the […]