Five Things I’ve Learned About Songwriting from the Masters

One of the more daunting things I’ve come to realize in my years of writing songs is that when it comes to getting cuts, you’re not only competing against all the songs being written currently but also against every song that’s ever been written. Fortunately, to balance that out, we also have the opportunity to
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A Primer on Tension and Release in Your Songwriting

Tension and release in songwriting uses the same mechanics as good joke telling. The way you let your story – in your song or joke – unfold is what sets the table for a satisfying hook/punchline. The difference is that songs not only have words to do this but also a melody. When lyric and
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A Few Tips on Writing Lyrics to An Existing Melody

More often than not, songs seem to come together as a gradual and simultaneous creation of lyric and melody. Maybe a snippet of melody has been running around in your head with a bit of lyric attached. Or maybe you’ve got a title or hook idea that has a bit of melody to go with
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A Few Tips on Writing Your Second Verse

A friend of mine once said she’d have a lot more hit songs if they didn’t require a second verse. For anyone who’s ever written a song, this should make perfect sense. There comes a moment in the process of writing a song where you find yourself wondering how to follow up your first verse
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Three Ways to Know If You’ve Written a Good Song

I feel it’s important to remind ourselves as songwriters that a song’s quality – like any art – is subjective. Ultimately, time and the long view will provide a clearer perspective on whether your work is solid. Even the most successful songwriters face a lot of rejection and an almost endless supply of others’ opinions.
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Four Things You Might Not Know About Lyric Writing

As a longtime songwriter and – often specifically a lyricist – I’ve had a chance to observe why and how lyrics work. While it’s obvious that the words can tell a story or create a mood, what’s less obvious is what happens when you take a step back and look at the role of the
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Five Ways to Find Songwriting Collaborators

So let’s say you’re a lyricist  who has lots of great song ideas but no melodies to hang them on. Or, let’s say, you’re an experienced musician and vocalist but can’t imagine putting words to any of your melodies. Songwriting collaboration in these – and many other – instances can be the ideal solution. The
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Five Ways Songwriters Can Avoid Writer’s Block

Songwriting – like any art – requires at least a certain amount of inspiration. However, the more you write the more often inspiration isn’t as available as you’d like it to be. Occasionally, inspiration can appear to run completely dry. When you find yourself heading toward or already in that situation, there are multiple ways
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Some Tips on Editing and Re-writing A Lyric

I’d like to introduce you to Tom Kimmel. Along with releasing several major label albums as an artist himself, Tom has written songs covered by Johnny Cash, Joe Cocker, Linda Ronstadt and Randy Travis among others. Tom’s insights into the lyric-writing process are well worth a good read. Enjoy! _____ For some of us, a
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Five Questions Songwriters Can Ask Themselves to Decide If Their Song Is Finished

When most of us start out writing songs, it’s pretty difficult for us to know when a song is officially finished. The more songs you write and the better you know your own process, the easier this will become. That being said, here are some things you can do right away to help you know
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