Bruce Springsteen

Making Imagery an Important Part of Your Lyric

Like so many things in the creative arts, imagery is difficult to define with any kind of precision. Of course you could say that imagery in songwriting is, simply, anything that creates images in the mind of the listener. But to me, there’s more to it, because practically anything you write will create images. In […]

The Beatles Now and Then

“Now and Then” – the Missing Pre-Chorus

I watched an interesting and very good analysis video of The Beatles’ “Now and Then“, called “Comparing John’s demo to the final Beatles track” (David Bennett Piano). As you likely know, the song was composed and performed in demo version by John Lennon back in the 70s, and the analysis video takes a closer look […]

Guitar, Pencil & Paper

When Songs Are Hard to Finish – Reasons and Solutions

Is there anything more frustrating for songwriters than when a song starts easily, but the whole process grinds to a halt before even half the song is finished? There are several potential causes for this sort of thing — and to be honest, you’ll likely encounter each and every one of them at some point. […]

Irving Berlin

What You Can Learn About Songwriting From the Great Irving Berlin

I mentioned a few weeks back that I was enjoying a book I had received as a gift, called “Let’s Do It – The Birth of Pop”, by Bob Stanley. I’m most of the way through, and am still hugely enjoying it. I highly recommend it — you won’t be disappointed. If you’re stuck working […]

Guitar chords - switching minor to major

More About Chord Progressions That Move From Minor to Major

In a recent blog post (“Moving from Minor to Major in a Pleasantly Abrupt Way: Valdy’s ‘Simple Life’“) I mentioned the common occurrence in songwriting of writing a minor verse that then moves to a major chorus. Juxtaposing minor and major is a really good way of creating that all-important aspect of contrast in songs. […]

Keyboardist songwriter

Choosing Chords That Work Well With That New Melody You’ve Created

It may surprise you to know that if you go back enough in time — the Medieval era, for example — most music was all about the melody, and that harmony definitely played a secondary role: harmonies were incidentally created as several melodies were played together. While today, most music is a melody with chords […]