Guitar, paper and pencil

Adding Focus to Your Lyrics With a Short Story

Most songs aren’t specifically “story songs”; they don’t use lyrics that say “first this happened, and then that happened.” It’s usually the case that listeners will infer the story by the various lines within the lyric. It sounds complicated, but most song lyrics work this way. When we hear the lines of a lyric, our […]

Singer-Songwriter - Recording Studio

Placing Yourself Within Your Song’s Lyric

Do you find that your songs aren’t really making a personal or emotional connection to your listeners? If that’s the case, take a look at the point of view of your lyric, and at least some (perhaps most) of the time it should be placing you as the centre of activity. In other words, writing […]

The Weeknd

Creating Effective Song Hooks

Most of the time when you talk about the hook of a song, you’re talking about the main, distinctive part of the chorus. There are many different ways to hook a listener, but you could argue that the chorus hook is the most important one, as it gives listeners the most memorable part of the […]

Songwriter

Choose a Good Topic, But Concentrate on the Quality of the Lyric

Believe it or not, the specific topic of a song isn’t all that crucial to its success. “Hotel California” is a hugely popular song from the 70s, and there were considerable debates at the time of its release as to what it was actually about. The confusion of listeners didn’t damage the listeners’ ability to […]

Minor chord progressions for songwriters

Making Standard Chord Progressions More Interesting: Try These Five Ideas

Chord progressions are responsible for much of the mood that we pick up in a song. Chords don’t do it on their own of course, but we get a clearer picture of the mood from the way the chords change more than from pretty much any other single element. Simple, standard progressions work just fine […]

The Beatles

The Most Important Thing to Know About Song Form

You’d think, because practically every song we know is designed to be alternating verses and choruses (with other miscellaneous sections thrown in from time to time) that verses and choruses are a necessity for any good song. If you think that, you’d be wrong. That’s not to say that the design of your song isn’t […]