Paul Simon

If You Aren’t Creating Images…

A good lyric might use clever rhymes. And it might use no rhymes. You might write a lyric that’s long and involved, or you might write one that uses very few words. Your lyric might be a story. Or the story might be only vaguely implied. You may write about love, or you might write […]

Lenny Kravitz

When Simplicity Rocks: Lenny Kravitz and “Fly Away”

Twenty-one years ago Lenny Kravitz released “Fly Away“, the fourth single from his fifth studio album, ‘5‘. If you’re not sure you know the song, you’ve likely heard it as the soundtrack for travel agencies, car companies and more, like this Nissan commercial from 2011. If you’re ready to study — to learn why a great song […]

Keyboard - Chord Progressions

Simplicity as a Starting Point

As a songwriter you may be attracted to the notion of writing something complex, something that really gets your audience thinking. Complex chords, intricate harmonies, thoughtful lyrics, melodies that surprise… it’s all part of what makes your 4-minute song something that will stimulate the imagination of your listeners. The problem with complexity in songwriting is […]

Troye Sivan

Pop’s Immediate Appeal Doesn’t Necessarily Mean That It’s Shallow

If hooks seem elusive when you’re trying to write a song, give this ebook a read: “Hooks and Riffs: How They Grab Attention, Make Songs Memorable, and Build Your Fan Base.” Get it separately, or as part of “The Essential Secrets of Songwriting 10-eBook Bundle.” On CBC Radio 1 last week, host Tom Power interviewed […]

Chainsmokers

Comparing the Rhythmic Feel of a Verse and a Chorus

Are you trying to make your lyrics more important in your songwriting process? This eBook can help: “Use Your Words! Developing a Lyrics-First Songwriting Process.” Take advantage of this FREE offer. In most songs, a vocal line will become rhythmically simpler in a chorus, often favouring notes of longer rhythmic values. There are good reasons […]

Songwriter - Guitarist

Songwriting, and the Benefits of Writing With Minimal Help From a Computer

Most of my writing these days is for vocal/choral groups. Sometimes that means writing for piano as an accompanying instrument, and sometimes I’m writing for full orchestra. Some of them are original compositions, and some are arrangements of already-existing songs (public domain folk songs, for example). But in any case, I practically always start by […]