Fixing Songs That Sound Too Much Like Other Ones

Practically every songwriter confronts this nagging problem at some point, and sometimes very often: You start writing, and right away you notice that it’s similar to some other song you’ve heard before. There’s nothing like noticing that your new song sounds like an already-existing one to kill your songwriting process in its tracks. So then […]

Frustrated Songwriter

Not Every Song Works

You can spend a lot of time trying to get your next song working, but sometimes you have to stop and wonder: has the time you’ve put into it been worth it? On the one hand, you could argue that the answer will always be “yes.” I’ve felt that if a song takes you a year […]

Songwriter in nature

Finding More Sources of Songwriting Inspiration

If you’re a composer of music who is required to be writing daily (film score composers, for example), you know that you can’t count on a steady supply of inspiration to keep you writing. You know you’re going to have days when you feel the excitement that inspiration provides, but lots of other days when […]

Singer - Songwriter

Creative Exhaustion

What we call writer’s block has many possible causes, but most of them related to fear, and in particular a fear of failure. But fear is not often the first step in a creative block. For many songwriters, it’s creative exhaustion. Chapter 5 of “The Essential Secrets of Songwriting” shows how melody and lyric need to work […]

Songwriter- Writer's Block

Looking For a New Tried and True

Tried and true refers to anything that is a proven success. In most things in life, you’re doing well to look for a tried and true method. These days we might call it a “life hack.” But no matter what it gets called, tried and true won’t let you down. Except… it can let you […]

Songwriter's Block

When Your Creative Process Slams on the Brakes

There’s a analogy for writer’s block that I’ve seen, written by Patrica Huston, MD, in the January 1998 edition of Canadian Family Physician, that succinctly describes what happens when we can’t write anymore: Medical writer and editor Elizabeth Whalen suggests that writer’s block is an example of a “right brain-left brain” conflict. The right, or […]