Piano - songwriting

How to Create Interesting Moments Within Strong Chord Progressions

There are songwriters that like to use complex progressions that really take us on an intricate musical journey. But the fact is that most of the time, particularly in popular music genres (pop, country, folk, etc.), chord progressions are largely predictable. No songwriter I know likes to use the word “predictable” in describing any aspect […]

Rock Concert audience

Becoming More Noticeable in the Songwriting World

There are many reasons why people write songs, but almost all writers of music get into it for the same reason: as a means of personal expression. Some eventually enter the professional world, while others remain happily amateur, writing mainly for themselves, family and friends. Regardless of the eventual direction, composing songs requires the songwriter […]

Songwriter - editing music

Making Improvements On Your New Song Hook

When you get an idea for a song, you’re actually getting several ideas all at once. That’s how creativity works. You might think that you’ve just conjured up a single entity called a hook, but in fact you’ve brought together at least 3 different things very quickly: A catchy little melodic bit; A chord progression […]

Guitarist - Drummer

Acknowledging the Greatness of Others to Become a Better Songwriter

There was something about the best music teachers of my youth that made me want to be better. They weren’t just good teachers; they were good musicians. Because they excelled, I wanted to excel. To excel at anything requires two things: An instinct A passion Those two qualities go hand-in-hand. It’s unlikely you’d develop a […]

Singer - Songwriter - Lyricist

Improving Lyrics By Improving Everything Else

Every songwriter is a communicator. Most of the time what you’re communicating is obvious from the title and lyric, but there’s so much more than words that contribute to the meaning of a song. A few years back I did a blog article that compared two renditions of “Always On My Mind” (Wayne Carson, Johnny […]

Countermelody: A Nice Alternative to Simple Backing Vocals

When you listen to verse 2 of Simon & Garfunkel’s “Scarborough Fair/Canticle, you’re hearing the main melody, but you’re also hearing, in addition to some simple backing vocals,  a secondary melody in the background. Do you find that writing a great melody is your biggest challenge? In great songs, it’s not just about the tune […]