Guitar - Songwriter

Setting Yourself Up for Successful Songwriting

For some, songwriting is the kind of thing that happens “on the fly”, at least in the sense that you can come up with a great idea when you least expect it. But if for you, songwriting is always like that — where you write songs when ideas happen to pop into your brain, you’ll probably […]

Joni Mitchell

Viewing Your Songs in Chronological Order

All songwriters fight with frustration. I’d say that if you don’t get frustrated from time to time, you’re not growing the way you should. Artistic growth requires getting excited about what you’re writing, but it also requires feeling dissatisfied. Dissatisfaction is not a negative reaction if you use it to propel you forward. Chapter 5 of […]

Songwriting in the studio

Songwriting and the Meaning of Music

When you think of the word meaning as it applies to your songs, are you talking about the picture that gets created from the lyrics? Or perhaps you’re talking about the picture that gets created from the sound of the instruments? For me, I pull more meaning out of the instrumental/vocal performance of a song than […]

Justin Vernon

Creating Power Within Your Songs

I’ve been enjoying reading the transcript of an older interview (June 2011) with Bon Iver frontman Justin Vernon on the Pitchfork website. Vernon is a singer/songwriter I have a lot of respect for. He puts a lot of thought into the music he writes, and in particular the lyrics. Get “The Essential Secrets of Songwriting” eBooks. They’ll […]

guitar - keyboard - headphones

Looking Past Myths to Improve Your Songwriting Skills

I don’t know if you feel the same way, but I have a somewhat cynical view of the things I see online. I’ve learned (and hopefully you have learned as well) that you have to take much of what you see with a grain of salt, and do a bit of research. But of course […]

Pentatonic Melodies are Usually the Easiest to Harmonize

If you’ve been trying your hand at starting the songwriting process by writing a melody, I applaud you. It may seem tricky at first to create a melody when you haven’t come up with chords first, but once you get the hang of it, you (and your fans) will appreciate the quality of your melodies. […]