Metronome

The Psychology of Song Tempo

I’ve always been interested in the tempo of music, and what effect that has on how we “hear” a song. We can measure tempo precisely, usually in bpm (beats per minute), but performers will often slightly alter tempo from one live performance to the next, which might indicate that the need for tempo precision is […]

Rolling Stones

Using Songs That Have Passed the Test of Time as Models

On the face of it, it can seem a bit odd that hit songs from a previous generation can serve as good models for how we could or should be writing new songs. You’d think that if you do that, you’d wind up writing something that sounds dated or passé. But that doesn’t usually seem […]

Home recording Studio - Darren Perkins

Making Sure Contrast is Playing an Important Role in Your Songs

If you really want to see contrast at work in music, you should listen to a Classical symphony. Each piece typically consists of four movements, and each movement will be in a different key, and usually a different tempo. Also, each movement, even if they borrow ideas from previous movements (as 19th-century composers sometimes did), […]

Guitar, paper & pencil, smartphone

Music Theory That’s Perfect For Today’s New Learning Situations

School’s back in for most students in North America, and some have been back for a couple of weeks now. For many, schooling looks very different: masks, social distancing, and all the other health protocols that have become standard in most areas of the U.S. and Canada. Some schools have switched to an online format, […]

songwriter

The Break Between Songwriting Sessions – What’s Optimum?

A number of years ago I was teaching music in the public school system. I had several choirs. One of them, a medium-sized high school auditioned choir (45 members), rehearsed with me once a week for two hours. Another was a smaller jazz choir (20 members), which rehearsed twice a week, but only 35 minutes […]