Don’t limit your songwriting to 4/4 time

AllYouNeedIsLoveJust because 4/4 is an easy and popular time signature in which to write, it doesn’t mean it’s always the best choice for you and your music. Many highly successful songs have been written using time signatures that don’t strictly adhere to the standard one-and-TWO-and-three-and-FOUR-and vibe. Here are a handful of examples of music written in different time signatures — and tips on how playing with the meter of your own music can help you get it to the highest level. Read more.

Avoiding common songwriting obstacles

Songwriting tips from Ben CampIn Part 2 of our interview, songwriter Ben Camp shares his perspectives on the art and craft of songwriting, including methods he uses to develop compelling song ideas. He expands on his thoughts about the importance of co-writing and why he believes it’s essential to build a network of talented collaborators while pointing out some of the common mistakes aspiring songwriters often make. Read more.

The road to becoming a successful songwriter

Successful songwriter Ben CampBen Camp interview, Part 1. “Doubt is part of the creative process. Even people who are at the top of the songwriting game today struggle with the process. [One hit songwriter I know] has said that he’ll come up with 100 different melodies to find the one that sticks. So it’s essential to not be afraid to throw out those hundred until you hit on one that lights you up on the inside and you know, ‘Wow, that’s it!’” Read more.

Ask a songwriter: 5 questions for Five For Fighting’s John Ondrasik

Songwriting tips from John OndrasikFive For Fighting’s John Ondrasik exploded onto the music scene with the release of “Superman” in 2000. Having written thousands of songs in his youth, the public adoration of “Superman” stunned his mother – a way to actually make money songwriting and playing music! Ondrasik’s father was less surprised, recognizing he had dedicated 45,000 hours into honing his craft. Read more.

Ask a songwriter: 5 questions for Byron Hill

Tips from hit songwriter Byron HillOriginally from North Carolina, Byron Hill has been a professional songwriter in Nashville since 1978, with his songs generating more than 700 recordings, 77 RIAA certified Gold and Platinum awards, 10 ASCAP awards, and 31 US and Canadian top-ten chart hits. Hits Byron has written for major artists include “Pickin’ Up Strangers” (Johnny Lee), “Fool Hearted Memory” (George Strait), “The Pages Of My Mind” (Ray Charles), and “Born Country” (Alabama). Read more.

Ask a songwriter: 5 questions for Kent Blazy

Songwriting tips from Kent BlazyGrowing up in Lexington, KY, Kent Blazy became musically inspired when he heard Roger McGuinn playing “Mr. Tambourine Man.” By the mid-70s, Kent was band leader, playing guitar and touring with Canadian legend Ian Tyson. A first place win in a national songwriting contest persuaded him to move to Nashville in 1980, and in 1987, Kent was introduced to Garth Brooks. The first song Garth and Kent penned together was “If Tomorrow Never Comes,” which became their first #1 song. Read more.

Thoughts on Writer’s Block From One Songwriter to Another

You may not think it’s possible to write on demand. You may or may not believe you have a muse that sits in the back of your room when you are feeling the creative flow, and is on a lunch break when you’re not. Trust me, I’ve gone through all the possibilities of why I often feel like a magnet drawn to my piano and writer’s pad, and why at other times, I’d rather crawl into bed, clean my bathroom for the third time, or do my taxes before sitting at that bench with a pencil in hand. What gives? Don’t I have any control of this? Read more.