The Beatles

The Most Important Thing to Know About Song Form

You’d think, because practically every song we know is designed to be alternating verses and choruses (with other miscellaneous sections thrown in from time to time) that verses and choruses are a necessity for any good song. If you think that, you’d be wrong. That’s not to say that the design of your song isn’t […]

Adele

Finessing the Love Song

After all these years, love songs still work. You’d think songwriters would have run out of original things to say about the topic. If you expand the category a little more and consider the songs that are more generally about relationships, the majority of the songs on the Billboard Hot 100 at any given time […]

Songwriter with guitar

Giving Chorus Lyrics the Emotional Boost They Need

Sometimes you’ll hear a songwriter criticize their lyrics, saying that the chorus “falls flat.” That kind of criticism usually means that the chorus lyrics aren’t generating the kind of emotional response from the listener they were hoping for. You’ll notice that I say “generating”, because that’s exactly what a good chorus lyric does. It doesn’t […]

Songwriting titles

Working Out a Song Title as a First Step

Starting a song by coming up with the title first can be a great way to get your musical imagination working. The title of a song is usually part of the lyric, and it’s often an integral part of the hook. When song titles occur as a prominent part of the chorus — either at […]

Songwriting frustration

Scheduling Breaks From Songwriting

If you’ve been a songwriter for a while, you’ve probably noticed that the times you don’t particularly feel like writing are predictable. I’m not necessarily talking about day-to-day here: everyone has the time of day when they feel most creative, and the times when they don’t. I’m more talking about larger time segments – monthly […]

Eric Church

Creating Expectation in a Song Lyric

Lately I’ve been thinking and writing a lot about musical momentum… that quality that keeps people listening to a song. Without it, songs would just be one nice sound following another nice sound, and though it may seem strange to say, that’s not enough to keep people listening. There’s a sense of expectation that keeps people […]