Feist - 1234

Creating a Song From 3 Short Melodic Ideas

Here’s an alternative to always thinking in the verse-chorus format: try creating three short melodic fragments, all in the same key, and then putting them together to create a complete song. Don’t worry or think about which one is the verse or chorus. If you want a real example of what I’m talking about, you […]

Singer - Open mic

When a Song Sounds Bad, Take a Look at the Structure Underneath

When a song sounds great, we like to think that there’s a certain magic involved. But if you are a student of songwriting, as most good songwriters consider themselves to be, you’ll know that it’s not magic that makes a song great. A song sounds great when it follows basic musical principles. And we love […]

Yes - Roundabout

How Simplicity Makes for Good Songs

Some of the best songs ever written have a noticeable core of simplicity about them. Songs where the melody is easy to remember and easy to hum means that audiences are more likely to hum it as they go about their day. Simplicity is part of the reason that we find it so easy to […]

Songwriter's notepad

5 Ways to Be Sure the Structure of Your Songs is Solid

There’s probably no word less inspiring in the world of songwriting than “structure”. And let’s face it, when was the last time you thought about “structure” when you wrote a song? But the structure of a song can be a vital part of what makes it work. It’s easiest to think about what structure really […]

songwriting and architecture

The Architecture of Songwriting, and Changing Your Mind

Building a structure means having a plan before you start. If you’re not an architect, you’ll likely hire one, someone who knows how to create something beautiful while also being mindful of the laws of physics; you want to be sure it doesn’t fall down. Songs have a structure as well. And while I think […]

Singer-Songwriter

Making Verse Melodies Sound Better By Thinking Ahead to the Chorus

If one of your songwriting struggles is to get the verse and chorus melodies to sound like good musical partners, you may be surprised to find that the answer may not be to make them similar. Sometimes good verse-chorus partnerships happen when those two melodies have very different structural qualities. When it comes to making […]