Guitar in a nature setting

When You’re Stuck in Ballad Mode

If you listen to early Bee Gees tunes, you’ll notice how much they favoured slow tempos. Everything (well, almost everything) seemed to be a ballad. That’s not a criticism of their compositional prowess. But they were definitely, at least mostly, in ballad mode in their pre-disco days. Check out their 1971 album “Trafalgar” and you’ll […]

Recording Studio - Producer

8 Tips For When All You’ve Got Is One Good Song Idea

How often does this happen to you: You sit down with your guitar, and within moments you’ve got something nice. A great little hook, a riff, or some other kind of musical idea. You play it over and over and it sounds great. And then you draw a blank. And it doesn’t seem to matter […]

Earworm Melodies

Recent Research on Earworm Melodies

As you know, an earworm melody is one which gets stuck in the mind of the listener which, even with great effort, won’t easily relinquish its grip. When we’re experiencing a melody as an earworm, we don’t usually describe it as a pleasant experience. There’s an interesting recent study on earworm melodies, “Dissecting an Earworm: […]

Tips for Finishing Stubborn Songs

We’ve all been there: a new idea for a song pops quickly into your mind, and with great excitement you dig in and hope to have the song finished in a day or so. But somewhere along the line the ideas fizzle. What you’re left with is something that’s got the promise of greatness, but […]

The Verse, Pre-Chorus, Chorus, and Vocal Harmonies

There are many songs that use the same or similar melody for the chorus as is used for the verse. It works if you’ve come up with a good, hooky sort of melody. But using a similar melody presents you with a problem: how do you make sure that you don’t simply bore your listeners […]