MIck Jagger / Keith Richards

Songwriting: Separating the Writing of Lyrics From the Writing of Music

The power and strength of your lyrics is an important part of how future audiences will rate you as a songwriter. It’s true that some fantastic songs have had pretty mundane lyrics. “I Love Rock ‘n Roll”, written by Alan Merrill and Jake Hooker, and made most famous by Joan Jett’s 1982 recording, is in […]

The Beatles

Finding New Songwriting Formulas

The thing that’s bad about a songwriting formula is the predictability of it. When you write to a formula, you’re working out a song based on the notion that “when I do this, I should then do that.” And if you write that way, every song you write is going to have an undesirable sameness. […]

Singer-Songwriter

Making Verse Melodies Sound Better By Thinking Ahead to the Chorus

If one of your songwriting struggles is to get the verse and chorus melodies to sound like good musical partners, you may be surprised to find that the answer may not be to make them similar. Sometimes good verse-chorus partnerships happen when those two melodies have very different structural qualities. When it comes to making […]

Bob Dylan

Your Songs: Do You Have Anything Interesting To Say?

If you’ve got the gift of gab, you’ve an an ability to engage others in conversation and to keep them interested. If you think about the people in your life that you love having a conversation with, the following statements are probably true: They find interesting things to talk about. They can speak eloquently. They […]

The Police

Some Thoughts on Targeting Your Audience

If you’re a songwriter, you’re targeting an audience, whether you do it intentionally or inadvertently. You may favour country music, for example, and so if you put your songs out there for others to stream, it’s country music lovers that will be listening to them, whether you purposely target that demographic or not. “Use Your […]

Catfish and the Bottlemen

Pacing Your Chord Changes to Create Musical Energy

We use the term harmonic rhythm to describe the rate that chords change when compared to the number of melody notes. So let’s say you’ve written a song where the melody is primarily a stream of 8th notes. If you’re not sure what that means, think of the verse (and that prominent intro bass line) of […]