Songwriter

Choosing Chords to Make Your Lyrics More Powerful

It’s an important principle in good songwriting that all elements within any song should act as partners. We know, for example, that the mood of a song can be strongly affected by the tempo we choose, and also by production choices: instrumentation, performance style, and even the key. A lyric can be excellent, but if […]

Keyboard - Headphones

Solving Songwriting’s Most Common Problems

How you know that you’ve written a song that really works comes down to one main thing: its ability to make listeners want to hear it over and over again. When a song fails to do that, your job becomes one of analysis: how to figure out why a song just isn’t making the impact on […]

Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young

Toning Down the “Sweetness” Factor In Your Songs

There are some genres that are edgy and energetic by nature. If you like the warm fuzzy feeling you get from a lightly-accompanied ballad, you’re not likely going to be writing heavy metal. But what if you like lightly-accompanied music for the transparency of its sound, but you wish your song had a bit more […]

Songwriter - Performer

How You Can Effectively Polish Your Songwriting Skills

Like anyone else, songwriters look for ways to improve what they do. How to improve as a songwriter is a topic that gets discussed a lot, and there are many, many opinions. If you want to improve as a geologist, everyone will agree that the best way is to combine studying at a university with in-the-field […]

Focusing Lyrics With a Good Payoff Line

The purpose of a payoff line is to provide a point of focus for your lyric, and, by extension, a purpose for your song. It’s a kind of hook that is delivered by the lyric. When a listener hears a good payoff line, their subconscious reaction is, so that’s what the song’s really about. (Example: […]

Evaluating Your Song At Every Step of Writing It

If you were going to go on a long journey, you’d consult a map. If you’re using your smartphone, you’d consult the numbered steps on a Google or Apple Maps list (“Turn left onto West Street…”), and you’d mentally check off each listed location along the way. And you’d be confident that as long as […]