songwriting frustration

Moving Beyond That One Good Song Idea

It’s a common problem for most songwriters at one time or another: you come up with something that’s really catchy, and sounds like the start of a killer song. But then… nothing. You just can’t seem to move beyond that catchy fragment of music. What can you do? On track to make songwriting a full-time […]

songwriter

Troubleshooting a Song That’s Missing the Mark

If you’ve written a song that seemed to start with great promise, but now that it’s finished it sounds downright boring, it may be hard to put your finger on exactly what the problem is. But solving the problem is crucial, because it’s possible that you’re doing something wrong that’s been affecting all the songs […]

Journey - Don't Stop Believin'

Don’t Fear Strangeness In Your Songwriting… As Long As It Works

Good songwriting almost always comes about by following some basic principles. Those principles are not cast in stone, of course. If they were, we’d call them rules. For some songs, the principles seem obvious and clear, and you don’t have to do a lot of thinking to know why those songs work so well. For […]

Derek and the Dominos

Using a Key Change as a Musical Surprise

In most songs, key changes happen for any one or more of the following reasons: It raises musical energy. The most typical example of this is the song that has a minor key verse, then switches to a major key chorus. That brightening of the key from minor to major increases musical momentum as it […]

paper & pencil - songwriter

Finding Bad Lines In Your Lyric

As a songwriter you likely think sectionally. All that means is that you’re always aware of what part of the song you’re in. The downside of this kind of sectional thinking is that if something is going wrong with, let’s say, your verse lyric, the tendency might be to fault the entire section of lyric, when the […]

Folk Singer - Songwriter

Identifying Your Songs’ Most Exciting Moments

For every song you love, you can probably name at least one aspect or element of that song that really clicks with you. In other words, even though all good songs are a partnership of good ideas, there are usually one or two that really stand out. It might be something basic, like the groove. […]