Make Your Lyrics Better: Find the Natural Pulse

Most song lyrics fall into one of two categories: 1) poetry, or 2) common narrative. My experience is that songwriters often worry too much about trying to create something poetic, when it’s not really necessary. You don’t need to be a T. S. Eliot or a Longfellow to write a lyric that gets the job […]

Point Blank Online Music College: Songwriting Competition

Point Blank Online Music College is currently running a songwriting competition that looks interesting, and has some great prizes. If you’re an up & coming writer, it’s definitely worth checking this out. The competition offers the opportunity for entrants to write a song onto an instrumental backing track created by songwriter/producer Jony Rockstar, who has […]

The 5 Most Important Things to Know About Creating Melodies

Why is it that I hear the term “killer chord progression” all the time, but I hardly ever hear anyone talk about a “killer melody.” Frankly, as long as your chord progression merely works, you’ve got something that can produce a hit song. But melodies – they have to do more than work. They need […]

6 Ways of Dealing With That Dreaded Scourge: Writer's Block

No matter how proficient a songwriter you are, it will happen. You’ll go through a protracted period of time where the ideas just seem to dry up, and you can’t seem to get beyond a few unrelated musical thoughts that go nowhere. Writer’s block hits everyone, but the good news is that there are things […]

The Role of the Tonic Note and Chord in Songwriting

The term “tonic” refers to the first note of a scale, and also to the chord that is built upon that note. In A major, A is the tonic note, and the chord built on it (A-C#-E) is the tonic chord. It’s an important note and chord because it so happens that they usually appear […]

Limiting The Number of Ideas Within a Song

If you were to give a speech, you’d first establish what you should be talking about, limiting yourself to a small number of related ideas. You’d then present those ideas to an audience. Once you’ve presented the ideas in general terms, you’d develop and expand on them in (hopefully) interesting ways. You’d likely then finish […]