Neil Diamond

Taking a Close Look at a Song’s Pre-Chorus

If you’re looking for a song that has what amounts to being a textbook definition of a pre-chorus, that song would be Neil Diamond’s “Sweet Caroline.” The pre-chorus section (“Hands, touchin’ hands/ Reachin’ out,/touchin’ me, touchin’ you”) moves step-by-step higher while the instrumentation builds, the vocal style becomes edgier, and everything gets louder. Those are […]

Songwriter - Writing Lyrics First

Seven Ways to Become a Better Lyrics-First Songwriter

If you’ve been working on trying to become a better lyricist, I congratulate you. Great lyrics will be a crucial part of your eventual songwriting legacy. If you look at lists of the world’s best songwriters, you’ll notice that for most of those writers the quality of their lyrics has played an important role in […]

Home recording Studio - Darren Perkins

Making Sure Contrast is Playing an Important Role in Your Songs

If you really want to see contrast at work in music, you should listen to a Classical symphony. Each piece typically consists of four movements, and each movement will be in a different key, and usually a different tempo. Also, each movement, even if they borrow ideas from previous movements (as 19th-century composers sometimes did), […]

Singer-songwriter

Five Ways to Write Better Songs

There are many ways to improve your skills as a songwriter, and the best songwriters use a combination of many. These will include: Discussions with other songwriters. Discussions with other non-songwriting musicians (including players, producers, engineers, etc.) Studying the craft of songwriting (via written texts, videos, one-on-one sessions with instructors, etc.) Keeping a songwriting journal […]

Guitar in a nature setting

5 Ways to Know It’s Time For a Songwriting Break

Songwriting is supposed to offer you some level of enjoyment and even fun. As we all know, it’s not always like that. Some days you feel the frustration more than you feel the enjoyment. I’m a big fan of breaks. Taking a break has an almost immediate way of reducing frustration and allowing your creative […]

Songwriting - chord choices

Keeping Everything You Write — Even the Bad Stuff

For most songwriters, the act of songwriting is about 10 percent imagination/creation, and then 90 percent working and reworking those ideas until a song is complete. Because of that, don’t be surprised if the first ideas you get for a song seem a bit lame. It can take some time before everything sounds the way […]