Sarah McLachlan

Song Analysis: “Adia” – Sarah McLachlan

“Adia” (Pierre Marchand, Sarah McLachlan) is one of Sarah McLachlan’s most successful singles, her first top 5 on the Billboard Hot 100 back in 1998. From a musical point of view it’s probably most notable for its beautiful melody and creative chord progression, and well worth a quick study. MELODY The melody (in C minor/Eb […]

Guitarist - Drummer

If Everything You Write Sounds Lousy – Keep Writing Anyway

If you write a bad song, you’re in good company. Every songwriter writes a bad one. Writing a lousy song is not a reason to stop. It’s not even proof that you’ve done something wrong. Sometimes, songs just don’t work out. If you’re ready to take your songwriting to its highest level possible, you need […]

songwriting technique

What is Songwriting Technique, and How Do You Improve It?

Every time you create something, whether writing a song, painting a landscape, or writing a novel, you are pulling two vital aspects of artistic creation together: your technical abilities and knowledge, and your creative imagination. In songwriting, we refer to technical abilities by using the word technique, and we summarize the phrase creative imagination by simply referring […]

Songwriter - Lyricist

Becoming a More Distinctive, Unique Songwriter

The best songs exhibit a mix of two things: Predictability. Songs need to sound enough like other songs out there that audiences enjoy your music. Uniqueness. Songs need to sound different enough from other songs out there that audiences don’t feel that you’re simply rehashing other writers’ ideas. And that’s a tricky balance to get […]

Studio singer

How Similar Must the Verse and Chorus Be Within a Song?

For most songs, the verse and chorus melodies are different. That’s the most common circumstance. But there are times, you will notice, when you’ve written a verse and a chorus that sound fine on their own, but don’t seem to work together. On the face of it, it seems that there doesn’t need to be […]

Joni Mitchell

Theme and Variations as a Songwriting Technique

A common musical form that classical composers have loved for centuries is theme and variations; a melody is repeated, changed in some way, but still similar enough to the original that it’s recognizable. It was a measure of a composer’s musical imagination, and fun for an audience to hear what might happen next with the […]