Describing Your Song In One Short Sentence – That’s Important!

If you can’t express or sum up the main concept of your song — what the song’s all about — in one sentence or less, you’re going to have trouble connecting to your audience. Lyrics may take the listener on a journey, but there needs to be one concise way of describing that journey. It’s like […]

Adding an Instrumental Hook to Your Song

One way to make a song stand out and grab attention is to create an instrumental hook, one that may or may not have much to do with the song itself. One of my favourite examples of how this can work is Stevie Wonder’s “Superstition“. The sung part of the song doesn’t really have a […]

Singer Songwriter Guitarist Poppy Field

Abide With Me: The Power of Writing in the First Person

As songwriters, you’re constantly trying to make your music a personal experience that others can feel – to which others can relate. You do this by singing about universal emotions and experiences (love, peace, friendship, etc.), and you use common, everyday words to convey your thoughts. Today is Remembrance Day in Canada, and most of […]

The Earworm Factor: Writing Accidental Music

Pharrell Williams’ song “Happy” was the number-one single on the Billboard charts for 2014, and by any measurement you choose it was the most commercially successful song of that year, with 13.9 units sold. If there was ever a song that could be called an “accidental hit”, “Happy” fit the bill perfectly. It innocently inserted itself […]

Deerhunter Breaker

Creating (Mainly) Pentatonic Melodies: Deerhunter’s “Breaker”

It’s amazing how imaginative you can be using mainly pentatonic scales to create melodies. You might think that limiting yourself to 5 notes per octave means you’ve cut out a lot of possibilities, but that certainly doesn’t have to be the case. If you haven’t done so yet, you might want to give Deerhunter’s new album, […]

Guitar and paper - Songwriting

How Your Song’s Melody Can Add Meaning To Your Lyrics

I recently wrote an article for SongBay that discussed ways in which the chords you choose can work hand-in-hand with your lyrics, and actually enhance their meaning. Getting words and chords working together makes for a more meaningful experience for your audience. Along the same lines, there are things you can be doing as you […]