guitar - keyboard - headphones

The Songwriter’s Rut: You’ve Always Got Tomorrow

There is a kind of rule of life that most of us are familiar with: that the time it takes to complete a job expands to fill the time allotted to it. In short, if you give yourself a week to finish a task, it will take a week. If you like starting songs by […]

Song instrumental

What a Bridge Might Look Like In Your Song

The bridge of a song typically happens after the second chorus. There are lots of reasons you might use a bridge: To introduce a new melody. To introduce a new key area. To complete the lyric (where the bridge is followed by chorus repeats.) To extend the length of your song. Most of the time, […]

Piano - songwriter - theory

Using Music Theory to Communicate Your Musical Ideas

There’s a persistent myth in the songwriting world that the more music theory you know, the more your songwriting will suffer. If you believe this, you’re missing out on truly understanding what music theory is, and how you could be using it to your advantage. If you want some evidence for the power of music […]

Eric Carmen

What Can You Really Learn From an Old Song?

From our standpoint here in 2021, it may be hard to hear the difference between a song written and recorded today, and one that was done, say, three years ago. Ten years ago? You start to hear some differences. And if you go back a few decades, to the 80s for example, there are lots […]

songwriter - guitarist

Too Much of a Good Thing

This post contains some additional thoughts on my previous post about motifs. As you know, a motif is a repeating figure (melodic, rhythmic, or any other musical fragment) that adds strength to the structure of a song. But it begs the question: is it possible for a song to feature too many repeating things? When is […]

Amanda McBroom

Verses, Choruses, and How Much They Matter

The verse-chorus format of songs in the pop music genres is extremely common. Even people with no musical training in the least can tell if what they’re hearing is a verse or a chorus. The thing is, some songs don’t use the verse-chorus format. And some songs that do use a verse-chorus format will use […]