Pet Shop Boys

Making Dramatic Changes to Song Mood With Tempo

Songwriting tends to happen in two stages. First, you spend a certain amount of time creating ideas, and second, you experiment with, pull together and reshape those ideas until you get the song into its final form. Some songwriters find the first stage relatively easy, but get frustrated trying to make a finished song. They get […]

Guitar in a nature setting

When You’re Stuck in Ballad Mode

If you listen to early Bee Gees tunes, you’ll notice how much they favoured slow tempos. Everything (well, almost everything) seemed to be a ballad. That’s not a criticism of their compositional prowess. But they were definitely, at least mostly, in ballad mode in their pre-disco days. Check out their 1971 album “Trafalgar” and you’ll […]

Recording Studio - Producer

8 Tips For When All You’ve Got Is One Good Song Idea

How often does this happen to you: You sit down with your guitar, and within moments you’ve got something nice. A great little hook, a riff, or some other kind of musical idea. You play it over and over and it sounds great. And then you draw a blank. And it doesn’t seem to matter […]

Songwriter-Guitarist

7 Ways Chord Progressions Affect the Mood of Your Music

If you’re like many songwriters, coming up with a solid progression that supports the mood of your song is an important first step in the songwriting process. The process usually looks bit like this: Improvise (either on guitar or keyboard) some chords that work well together. Find a catchy rhythm that makes those chords sound […]

songwriting

If All Your Songs Sound Similar: Some Fixes For That

Everyone has a songwriting style, and if you listen to enough of someone’s music you’ll start to hear those similarities, assuming it’s not immediately obvious. Similarity between songs is not a horrible wrong that must be corrected. It’s unavoidable. And it’s a part of being creative in the sense that creativity usually builds on things […]

songwriter - guitarist

What To Do If Your Songs Sound Too Syrupy

Do you find that you’d like a bit of edge in your songwriting, but everything you write sounds too sweet and gooey? You’d like to write a song that sounds like a Springsteen rocker, but the more you work on it, the more it sounds like “Muskrat Love.” So what can you do to take […]