Music Theory - Songwriting

Can Music Theory Increase Your Creative Abilities?

There is a decades-old myth in the pop music world that asserts that the more you understand music theory, the more it stunts your creative abilities. Where does the myth come from? I suspect it goes something like this: When a song sounds really good, theorists will pull it apart to try to understand why it […]

Guitarist - songwriter

Fixing Your Songs When You Can’t Identify the Problem

One of the biggest challenges in writing good music is figuring out why the song you’re writing isn’t working. You feel that it started with such promise, but now everything sounds lame. Probably the best thing you can do for a song that isn’t working is the easiest thing: play it for someone. Preferably play […]

The Who

Is Your Song Intro Inviting Your Audience to Keep Listening?

The intro of your song is that one section that’s part songwriting, part production. In other words, for many songs you can take the existing intro away, replace it with some other intro, and the song is still essentially the same. In that sense, a song intro can be decided upon during the production stage […]

Tom Petty

Making Your Melodies Easy For Listeners to Remember

In order for a melody to be successful, it needs to be easily remembered by a listener. If your melodies sound like aimless wandering, you’re going to have trouble building an audience for it. The best melodies out there are the ones that people can hum or sing, even if they aren’t great singers. When […]

Songwriting inspiration

The Relationship Between Inspiration and Hard Work

In a creative art like songwriting, inspiration always leads to hard work, but the effect is often fleeting. Inspiration is like the wind: it comes and goes. On the other hand, hard work leads to inspiration, and the effects are much longer lasting. If you’re the kind of songwriter who needs a good dose of […]

Piano keyboard and guitar

Tips for Songwriters: Avoiding Accidental Plagiarism

Given the few notes within an octave and the millions of songs that have been written using them, accidental plagiarism is a constant companion for most songwriters. Every time you come up with a great songwriting idea — especially something that you really like — you’re immediately wondering if you’ve stolen the idea from an […]