Tennessee Ernie Ford - Bruno Mars

Come to Think Of It…

Some of the best learning happens when we’re working on the job, as opposed to studying, and writing music is no different. With every new song you compose, you probably notice your skills improving, and your technique modifying. That’s certainly not to say that you can’t also approach songwriting as a scholarly pursuit – as a student of the […]

Guitar Hacks & Input Jacks

For Guitarists: Guitar Hacks – Weeding Through the Fluff

If you’re a guitarist and you’re looking for some free material, you may want to head over to the Open Heart Teaching website. Site founder Tim Woosley has recently written a new ebook entitled “Guitar Hacks & Input Jacks: Stuff Every Guitarist Should Know.” I’m pleased to have been asked to contribute an article to […]

Shawn Mendes - Stitches

Songwriting Tips: Getting the Most Out of Verse 2

For many songwriters, writing a chorus is a logical first step. It’s the part with the hook, and you can make great use of repetition to come up with something that’s catchy and memorable. If you’ve started your song with the chorus, the next section you’ll work on is verse 1. That’s because whatever emotions […]

negative online reviews

Dealing With People Who Hate Your Music

As a student of music composition a number of years ago, I never wrote a piece of music for which somebody didn’t express an intense dislike. Those were pre-internet days, so I didn’t have to deal with online trolls, who can demolish your confidence if you let them. The key phrase there is “if you let them.” It […]

Happy New Year 2016

Being a Better Songwriter in 2016

I want to wish all of you, my loyal readers and followers, a heartfelt Happy New Year! I hope 2016 is the best year yet, and I hope you double your fan base! 🙂 And if you’re serious about pulling out the stops and making 2016 your best year yet as a songwriter, here are 3 points […]

Toni Morrison

Words and Music: Two Sides of the Same Coin

Over on the Quote Investigator website you can read interesting research of the adage, “Easy reading is damn hard writing.” It’s commonly ascribed to the 19th century American novelist Nathaniel Hawthorne, but it probably existed long before he said it. I love that quote, because it sums up, in my opinion, the problems we face when trying to write […]