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 […]

Guitarist - Songwriter

Technique and Musicianship: Improving as a Songwriter

If you’re an instrumentalist, you know that practice is an important part of getting better. Practice requires you to put a magnifying glass on your technique — and sometimes your musicianship — and focus in on what you find difficult. Some instrumentalists maintain that they make their best improvements by simply playing, rather than by working out […]

A Good Recording Needs a Good Song As a Starting Point

I still believe that no matter how excellent the quality of gear is these days, and how easy it is to do your own sound recording, that if you really want an excellent product to “shop around,” it’s a great idea to hire a professional producer. A producer is positioned to be more objective about […]

Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan’s Nobel Affirms it: People DO Pay Attention to Lyrics

In case you were wondering: yes, people do listen to lyrics. I’ve mentioned on this blog many times that if you take a look at “Worst-Songs-Ever” types of lists (all unscientific, of course, but still…), you’ll find that songs are considered bad, corny, or otherwise unsatisfactory based mostly on the quality of the lyric. There has […]