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 […]

Writing lyrics

A New (Old?) Way of Writing Lyrics

I’m fond of pointing out the similarities between all the different genres of music, because it reminds me that no matter what style of music we call our own, we’re all trying to do the same thing: touch the emotional soul of the audience. For most musical genres, the main differences with songs lie in […]

Songwriting - Objective Listening

Good Songwriting and Objective Listening

It’s a dangerous can of worms to open if you dare ask someone, “What is good music?” Most of the time, people misunderstand the question and think you’re really asking, “What are your favourite songs?”, or perhaps “What is your favourite style (genre) of music?” There is an important difference between “What is good music?” […]

Tom Petty

Comparing Lyrics From Different Song Genres

Get the eBook bundle that thousands of songwriters are using to improve their songwriting technique. No matter what genre of songwriting you examine, you’ll find a few commonalities when it comes to lyric writing: Good lyrics usually use common, everyday words. Good lyrics usually use a conversational style. Good lyrics exhibit an ebb and flow […]

Using Deceptive Cadences to Make Chord Progressions More Interesting

I mentioned cadences in my last post. A cadence is the end of a musical phrase — the end of a line of music or lyric. Sometimes that cadence sounds temporary, when the lyric sounds like the a pause in the middle of a sentence (at a comma), and sometimes much more final, like the […]

Reinventing the Wheel

As innovative as The Beatles were, there wasn’t much new in their collective songwriting style. They brought ideas to pop music that had been around for years in other genres, and of course, they did it stunningly well. Their compositional technique gave us some real beauties, but much of what they did had been happening […]