Connecting Melodic Ideas Between a Verse and Chorus

How much of a connection should a listener hear between the verse and chorus? In other words, except for tempo, key and general feel, can a verse melody set up a chorus well if it bears little to no similarity to that chorus melody? Take the classic hit “Witchy Woman” (Don Henley, Bernie Leadon). Compare […]


Thinking About Your Songwriting Process

What do you hate about the notion of a songwriting process? If you find that having a process stifles your creative flow, then you’re confusing the term with songwriting formula. In songwriting, a formula means “once I’ve done this in my song, I should probably do that…”, and that can stifle your sense of creativity. But that’s […]

Passenger - Let Her Go

The Vital Partnership of Verses and Choruses

There’s nothing like the term “song form” to have one’s eyes glaze over. In songwriting, you just want to get going with your writing. And you’ve probably written dozens of songs up to this point without even giving the term “form” a second (or even a first) thought. When we talk about form, we’re talking about […]

Music Theory - Songwriting

5 Reasons Good Songwriters Benefit From Music Theory

An understanding of music theory can help make you a better overall musician, but doesn’t “create” musical abilities within you. To use an analogy, a bad violinist can buy the best multi-million dollar Stradivarius violin, and still sound bad. As a songwriter with certain abilities, and therefore certain successes, you can (and likely will) become a better musician as […]

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Songwriting Lessons from the Unlikeliest Sources

I don’t know if you feel the same way, but sometimes I learn the best lessons regarding music by thinking of something completely unmusical. Metaphors speak loudly and meaningfully to me. I like building things out of wood. It’s something I love, even if I’m not doing it at a professional level. But with every […]

Using Observation to Write Better Song Melodies

Melodies and lyrics are the two components of any song that must be unique. Song titles, chord progressions, rhythms… they can all have been heard before, and probably have. But melodies, if they share more than a few notes in a row with some other song, are said to have been plagiarized. Because every melody needs to […]