Songwriter with guitar

Five Best Ways to Avoid Songwriter’s Block

There is nothing wrong with being a slow songwriter. Leonard Cohen was practically famous for how long it took him to complete songs to his satisfaction. But if your songwriting process is slow because your creative brain constantly blocks up, that’s more than just being “slow.” The main annoying feature of songwriter’s block is frustration, and […]

Tom Petty

How Making a Line Drawing of Your Melody Makes It Better

The best song melodies are the ones that have a definable shape. You may not have ever thought of a melody in terms of its shape, but all that means is that good melodies: use recognizable, memorable patterns, and… can be described generally when it comes to its overall design. Let’s look at those two […]

Singer-songwriter-guitarist

Are You An Impulsive Songwriter?

Over the years I’ve written many articles for this blog that compare some aspect of Classical music to an equivalent aspect of pop songwriting. It’s not hard to find similarities. The basic constructs of music as known and understood by Bach are also evident and in abundant supply in most of popular music’s best songwriters. […]

Guitar, paper & pencil, smartphone

Music Theory That’s Perfect For Today’s New Learning Situations

School’s back in for most students in North America, and some have been back for a couple of weeks now. For many, schooling looks very different: masks, social distancing, and all the other health protocols that have become standard in most areas of the U.S. and Canada. Some schools have switched to an online format, […]

Pensive songwriter

And Now For Something Completely Different

If every song you write bears a striking resemblance to the ones that came before it, you’ll struggle to build on your fan base. That’s because your fans will think they’ve heard it all before, and start to lose the belief that you’ll come up with something different. It’s tricky, though. For most singer-songwriters, if […]

Simon & Garfunkel

Writing a Rock Anthem – The Important Characteristics

It’s hard to define what a rock anthem is. It’s the sort of song form that you recognize when you hear it, though. The most important quality of an anthem is probably universality: the notion that everyone could join in and sing the chorus together, and feel a sense of camaraderie and celebration for doing […]