Songwriting tools for lyricists

Songwriting and Finding the Story

One of the biggest differences between writing a song and writing a book is the number of words you’ll use. A novel might use 80,000 or more words to describe a story, but with a song lyric you really only get a tiny fraction of that; maybe 100 words or so. So with novels, the […]

Guitarist - Songwriter

Got the Free Songwriter’s Checklist?

Every once in a while I like to remind my readers of my free eBook, “The Songwriter’s Checklist”, available for download here. I created a short explanatory video last year when I did the most recent update to this eBook. In that video, I explain when it’s a good idea to use a checklist, and […]

Songwriter-Guitarist

Helping an Audience Understand Your Weird Chord Progressions

Here’s a quick tip for you if you like complex chord progressions: keep the weirdness toward the middle of your progression, and make the beginning and ending of it tonally strong. Here’s what that means: Most songs in the pop genres are going to be in one key or another, and so if you want […]

Lady Gaga, Bradley Cooper

Composing Opposites as a Songwriting Exercise

On those days when you’re between songs and don’t know what to write about, you can avoid frustration — and ultimately writer’s block — if you change your focus and work on some songwriting exercises. The end result of a songwriting exercise is usually a fragment — a fragment that might or might not ever […]

songwriter pondering the future

Setting Targets Will Make Songwriting More Fulfilling, More Exciting

If you’re looking to become a better songwriter and wondering why that’s not happening for you yet, you only need to look at the kinds of goals to targets you set for yourself. Songwriters who struggle are usually guilty of one of the following: The goals they set are unrealistic. (“I want to be writing […]

songwriter improvising melodies and chords

Improving Your Ability to Imagine Melodies

If the songs you write come about as a result of improvising — either by yourself or with other songwriters/players — you probably find that the various components of a song come together in layers. A bit of this, a bit of that, and it all eventually glues together. If you’re writing songs by yourself, […]