My Five Favorite Books For Songwriters

Over the years, along with writing around a thousand songs, I’ve read quite a few books on the topic of songwriting and creativity. Below is a list of my top five books for songwriters in no particular order. If you’re serious about mastering the craft of songwriting, it would be well worth your while to give
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Four Ways Simplifying Your Lyrics Can Make Your Songs Better

In my early years of running my recording studio in Nashville, I had the privilege of demoing songs for quite a few hit songwriters. This provided me with the opportunity to observe, up close, not only the work habits of super successful songwriters but also an in-depth look at what made up their songs. I’ll
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Seven Tips for More Productive Songwriting Sessions

Whether you’re writing a song by yourself or collaborating, the time you set aside to create is valuable. Making the most of your songwriting session is a goal worth striving for each time you sit down to write. Below are a list of tips that will help you squeeze every ounce of effectiveness out of
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Eleven Tips & Tricks to Help Songwriters Write Better Lyrics

Lyric writing, at its heart, is about telling a story. However, it can help to remember that it’s not just the story we tell but how we tell it that gets people to listen to what we have to say. To that end, I’ve put together a collection of tips and tricks to help you
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Four Unexpected Benefits of a Professional Song Critique

As a part of my work with new songwriters, I spend a decent amount of time consulting with them about their songs. One thing that I’ve noticed is that there’s a tendency for new songwriters to look at critiques as a direct means of making their critiqued song “better.” However, it’s my belief that even
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Seven Questions Songwriters Should Ask For Better Lyrics

At its best, lyric writing is a magical mixture of creativity and storytelling that can bring your listener into a world you’ve created and hold them there for the length of your song. However in order to create the perfect, tightly-scripted narrative that great lyrics possess, countless hours of writing and re-writing are often necessary.
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When, How & Why to Break the Rules of Songwriting

While there isn’t an official songwriting rulebook, there are quite a few tried and true songwriting conventions that over time have essentially become rules. In almost all instances, these “rules” are there because they tend to make songs more commercial or catchy or both. That being said, breaking these rules can be a very effective
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Four Ways to Significantly Improve Your Verse Lyrics

I thought I’d start this article with an analogy. Verses are to a song as vegetables are to a meal. And, just as we should all eat our vegetables, we should make sure our songs have interesting, well-balanced verses. To that end, I’ve put down a few things to keep in mind if you’d like
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Ten Foolproof Ways To Do Your Own Song Critiques

Early on in my songwriting career, I considered it a minor miracle that I could write a song in the first place. However, once I got a little more used to performing that particular magic trick, it became necessary to start to refine my process a bit further. In other words, it was no longer
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Four Useful Ways To Make Your Original Songs Original

A career in songwriting is a long road where the actual big payoff moments – if you’re fortunate enough to have some – are few and far between for even the most successful writers. This is all the more reason to take the time and challenge yourself to find what’s unique about your own songwriting.
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