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 “Creative Chord Progressions” 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 second phrase provides an “answer”. A […]

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 […]

Songwriter

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 […]