Phil Collins

Melodies That Are Easy to Sing Are Usually Easy to Remember

If you’ve written a melody that’s hard for people to remember, it’s difficult to imagine it as something that would make any sort of splash in the music world. If people need to hear it many times before they can start humming or singing it, it’s probably missing the opportunity to make a strong connection. […]

Keyboardist songwriter

Chords or Melody: Where Should You Put Your Focus?

Some songwriters start their process by working out a good chord progression as a first step. From there, they automatically create a backing rhythm that brings that progression to life. Once they’ve done that, the mood it generates makes them feel comfortable coming up with bits of melody and lyric, and the song starts to […]

Mic in a sound studio

Going Old-School: Separating Songwriting From Production

One of the benefits of being a songwriter in the 21st century is you have an incredible array of computer-based tools at your disposal. Like at no other time in history, you can do up a polished, professional end product with not much more than a mobile phone and a good mic. Thousands of songwriters […]

Led Zeppelin

The Best Songs Are Partnerships of Ideas

Make a little list of what you consider to be the best songs you know, and you’ll probably see one thing that is in common: each song represents a partnership of ideas. What does that term “partnership of ideas” mean? It refers to the fact that all the various components of a song — the […]

Guitar

Taking Songwriting Technique to Higher Levels

When you listen to great instrumentalists, no matter what genre, you become aware of something important: underneath all those great musical ideas is a foundation in the basics. If you don’t have a grounding in the basics of technique on your instrument, it’s going to show pretty quickly. Everyone knows this. That’s why, if you’re […]

Songwriter with guitar and paper

Writing a Good Song Melody: It’s Not a Random Process

There’s so much about songwriting that seems random. You could choose practically any chord progression, any melodic shape, any hook, any combination of words for the lyric. So when you look at it that way, it seems that randomness is a key feature of songs. The success of a pop song often comes down to […]