Imogen Heap

Grabbing Attention In Pop Songwriting

When songs are boring to audiences, don’t expect them to be able to say exactly why they’re bored. Most people can say what they like about a good song, but are less able to say specifically what isn’t working about a bad one. When a song sounds boring, it simply means that little or nothing […]

Jimmy Webb - Glen Campbell

The Lyrical Power of Wichita Lineman

This week, with the passing of legendary singer-songwriter Glen Campbell, we’ve been hearing a lot about some of the songs that made him famous as a solo artist: “Rhinestone Cowboy”, “Galveston”, “Gentle On My Mind”, and “Wichita Lineman”, among many, many others. “Wichita Lineman” was written by Jimmy Webb, and it’s the song I’ve been […]

“The Essential Secrets of Songwriting” - 4th ed.

Essential Secrets of Songwriting eBook: New 4th Edition Now Available

I’m excited to announce that the newest edition of “The Essential Secrets of Songwriting” eBook is complete and now available at the Online Store. As with previous new editions that I’ve released, this 4th Edition contains some new sections (“The Pay-Off Line”, “The Songwriting Process”, for example), as well as the typical rewording and including […]

Justin Timberlake - Can't Stop the Feeling

In Songwriting, Structure Comes Before Packaging

As a songwriter with aspirations for success in the business, your dream is to have your songs appeal to as many people as possible. But as you know, there have been legendary fights between producers, who make it their job to understand the market, and songwriters, who might be reluctant to commercialize their music to […]

Joni Mitchell - Little Green

How Hidden Meaning Works: Joni Mitchell’s “Little Green”

A song where the meaning of the lyric isn’t immediately clear excites us. We’re usually intrigued by the fact that the words are so simple, the phrases and sentences so seemingly unambiguous, and yet… what does it all mean? We can usually tell when a songwriter is pouring out their soul to us, even if […]

Singer-Songwriter recording

Your Start Influences Your Finish

Here’s an experiment you can try: take your favourite song and play the first 10 or 15 seconds of it, and then listen to the last 10 or 15 seconds and compare. What do you notice? For most songs, you’ll hear a strong similarity between the beginning and the end. Generally, the feel, key, tempo […]