Songwriter

How Important Is “Externally-Sourced” Inspiration to You As a Songwriter?

We tend to think of songwriting and inspiration as going hand-in-hand. Talk to anyone about how they write songs, and “inspiration” is probably going to come up pretty early on in the conversation. Here’s the question: Do you need a good dose of inspiration before songwriting works for you? In other words, are you able […]

singer - songwriter

In Songwriting, What’s Worse Than Predictability?

If there’s one thing songwriters usually strive for, it’s uniqueness. No one wants to simply write songs that sound like everything else that’s going on out there. That would make it hard to build a fan base of your own. Except… there is something worse than being overly predictable in your writing style (and predictability […]

Writing great song lyrics

Songwriting Happens in Two Stages: First Idea, and Process

If you ask any songwriter which process they use, they’ll probably tell you that it differs from song to song. For most, it really depends on which musical fragment makes its first appearance in their musical mind. If it’s a bit of lyric, they’ll most likely to start by filling out that fragment with more […]

Guitar - altered chords

Tips for Adding Chords to Melodies

If you like any of the melody-first songwriting processes, you know that eventually you need to add chords to that melody. If chord progressions are the part of writing that’s a little out of your comfort zone, here are some tips and ideas that can help : Get a sense of the strong beat-weak beat […]

Stevie Wonder

Creating Hooks in Pop Song Formats

For most songwriters, talking about “the hook” means talking about the chorus, at least the main part of the chorus melody that’s catchy and immediately identifiable. If someone asked you to sing the most identifiable part of Derek & the Dominos’ “Layla”, you’d start with the opening of the chorus (“Layla/ Got me on my […]

Singing harmonies in a recording studio

What Kind of Backing Vocals Are Right For Your Song?

How to write (or even if you should write) backing vocals is usually a step beyond songwriting. In other words, it’s usually something that comes under the heading of production more so than songwriting. These days, though, where technology has blurred the line between songwriting and production, you may find yourself thinking a lot about what to do about […]