Band concert

Experimenting With Tempo To Make a Song Better

You may not think of tempo as being part of a song that warrants a lot of experimentation. Usually in the songwriting process you’re focusing on chord choice, melody notes, and of course lyrics. But tempo has a huge role to play especially in creating a mood for your song. Moreover, it can allow you […]

Simon & Garfunkel

Writing a Rock Anthem – The Important Characteristics

It’s hard to define what a rock anthem is. It’s the sort of song form that you recognize when you hear it, though. The most important quality of an anthem is probably universality: the notion that everyone could join in and sing the chorus together, and feel a sense of camaraderie and celebration for doing […]

songwriter

Troubleshooting a Song That’s Missing the Mark

If you’ve written a song that seemed to start with great promise, but now that it’s finished it sounds downright boring, it may be hard to put your finger on exactly what the problem is. But solving the problem is crucial, because it’s possible that you’re doing something wrong that’s been affecting all the songs […]

Joni Mitchell

Controlling the Mood of a Song

Mood is one of the first things that’s conveyed by music. Listeners pick up the mood via the partnership of all the various song components, but mostly through: key choice (major versus minor); tempo; melodic shape; instrumental choices and effects; lyrics. I purposely placed lyrics at the bottom of that list, even though the lyrics […]

Singer-songwriter-guitarist

Dealing With Excessive Predictability In Your Songwriting

Predictability is not the horrible monster of songwriting. Even songs that sound unique, complex or startling are often following a template established by someone else’s song, with just a touch of innovation thrown in; it doesn’t take much innovation to make a song sound unique. If you like starting songs by working with a chord […]

singer-songwriter

Breaking the Logjam

If you’ve gotten partway through your next song, but you can’t seem to finish it, one of the best techniques for breaking the logjam is to take one aspect of your song and drastically change it. It can sound ridiculous at the time, but it can work. For example, if you’ve been working on something […]