Sigrid - Don't Kill My Vibe

Using Melodic Range to Create Musical Energy

If you’re not sure what’s meant by a phrase, think of it as a part of a sentence up to a comma or a period, where the sentence seems to pause, either temporarily or permanently, like this 2-phrase unit from Robert Frost’s poem, “Stopping By Woods On a Snowy Evening”: Whose woods these are I […]

Singer-songwriter on stage

Coming Up With Fresh Songwriting Ideas

Here’s a problem that I noticed in my own writing years ago, and I still battle today: Making sure that my newest songwriting ideas don’t sound the same as everything else I’ve written. I suspect that most songwriters deal with this issue. We all have a kind of artistic “muscle memory” that keeps our fingers […]

A Simple, Time-Honoured Way For Writing Song Melodies

Get the eBook bundle that thousands of songwriters are using to polish their songwriting technique. Comes with a free copy of “Use Your Words! Developing a Lyrics-First Songwriting Process” There is a kind of melodic structure called period structure — a two-phrase melody in which the first phrase acts as a kind of “question”, and the […]

Songwriter - Guitarist

Songwriting, and the Benefits of Writing With Minimal Help From a Computer

Most of my writing these days is for vocal/choral groups. Sometimes that means writing for piano as an accompanying instrument, and sometimes I’m writing for full orchestra. Some of them are original compositions, and some are arrangements of already-existing songs (public domain folk songs, for example). But in any case, I practically always start by […]

Johanna Warren - Singer-Songwriter

Two-Part Verse Structures: “Everyone I Know” (Johanna Warren)

I’ve only very recently discovered the music of Johanna Warren, a singer-songwriter from Portland Oregon. The stunning beauty of her music is addictive; it seems impossible to stop listening once you get started. First, check out her Bandcamp site where you can stream her albums. You won’t be disappointed. The aspect of her songwriting that […]

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 […]