songwriter

How to Create Forward Motion Within a Song

Forward motion is a term that refers to the sense of musical energy in a song. In real terms, forward motion is what makes a listener want to keep listening to a song. In other words, the listener wants to believe that as good as the song is at this moment, it’s going to sound […]

Keyboardist songwriter

Chords or Melody: Where Should You Put Your Focus?

Some songwriters start their process by working out a good chord progression as a first step. From there, they automatically create a backing rhythm that brings that progression to life. Once they’ve done that, the mood it generates makes them feel comfortable coming up with bits of melody and lyric, and the song starts to […]

The Bee Gees

Ignoring Genre to Improve Your Songwriting Skills

I find that whenever I think of what the Bee Gees went through in the early 1980s, with the public in general suddenly expressing an intense dislike for their music, I feel a lot of sadness. The Bee Gees as a songwriting partnership wrote some of the best songs in the history of pop. Maybe […]

Pensive songwriter

7 Common Songwriting Mistakes, and How to Avoid Them

Songwriting is problem-solving. For every song you’ve ever written that really works well, you’ve probably solved dozens or more problems that have taken you from the initial concept through to the finished product. Over the past couple of decades I’ve helped songwriters solve issues related to their songwriting, either working directly via in-person or online […]

Songwriter

What Role Does ‘Vision’ Play In Your Songwriting Process?

You encounter the word vision a lot in the creative arts. Actually, you encounter it in lots of other areas, too. Who can forget former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer’s cringy support of “developers”, who are the ones who flesh-out corporate or industry ideas, giving consumers a product that is the result of someone’s initial vision? […]

Adele

Finessing the Love Song

After all these years, love songs still work. You’d think songwriters would have run out of original things to say about the topic. If you expand the category a little more and consider the songs that are more generally about relationships, the majority of the songs on the Billboard Hot 100 at any given time […]