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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Should Songwriters Put Their Songs Out There?

One of the questions I get most from beginning songwriters is whether there’s any risk or problem with getting their songs out there on social media, streaming services, websites or any other ways that songs can be heard by (hopefully) large numbers of people. It’s an interesting concern to me because, in my experience, the
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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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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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How Songwriters Can Pitch To Publishers Who Don’t Accept Unsolicited Material

One of the seeming ironies of the music business is that we’re told music publishers are constantly looking for great songs but, at the same time, most major music publishers have a policy of NOT accepting unsolicited material. As an up and coming songwriter, this can seem at the very least confusing and worse yet,
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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 Ways Optimism Helps Your Songwriting Career

There’s an old Yiddish curse that says “may you do what you love for a living.” In other words, taking the thing you’re most passionate about and attempting to earn an income from it is full of challenges and can certainly feel overwhelming at times. After twenty-five years of doing this, I’ve found that it’s
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Four Professional Songwriting Tips

Since most of us become songwriters almost by accident, the line between amateur and professional songwriter is blurry at best. Strictly speaking, a professional songwriter is someone who is not only writing songs but generating income from those songs. However, it’s been my experience that long before a songwriter’s songs begin making money, they’ve put
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