We take a look at the true innovation and widespread influence James Brown had as he evolved his sound and created funk music in the process. Read the post.
In part two of our series, we break down two more iconic songs from the Rolling Stones’ library: 1966’s “Under My Thumb” and “Ruby Tuesday.” Read the post.
With guitar riffs like the one in “The Last Time,” the Rolling Stones established their musical signature on the way to becoming songwriting legends. Read the post.
A pedal point is the repetition or sustain of a single note throughout various harmonic changes that can make a standard progression more interesting or ground a complex progression in something familiar. Read the post.
Here’s the story of how an unlikely collaboration met with a massive riff, memorable chorus, groundbreaking samples, and an in-your-face solo to produce a surprise hit single in 1983. Read the post.
When you’re constructing a song, think of it in relation to the human body. You build the skeleton first, which can be a melody, and develop your song from there. Read the post.
In a career that spans decades and features collaborations with an array of influential artists, John Gustafson is a name you might not know, even though he recorded on over 100 albums, including his solo album, Goose Grease, in 1976. Read the post.
Power chords might not be chords, but they’re powerful intervals — especially when mixed with distortion. Read the post.
Not all these songwriting tips deal with the minutes and hours you’ll spend with your instrument in your hand, but that’s partly the point… your life outside your music studio should be rich and inspiring so that the music you create is too. Read the post.
Whatever your aspirations as a musician, there are lessons to be learned from the basement-tapes legacy created by Guided By Voices. Read the post.
All work, when properly evaluated and processed, is a learning experience and just another step in the life-long journey of discovering and deepening your own artistic voice. Read the post.
A song can take you on a journey, and including a key change — or modulation — can produce various emotional effects, from brightening the mood to creating a sense of unease. Read the post.
The first of a two-part series explores how taking time to learn another instrument will help you become stronger at your first instrument and improve your songwriting chops. Read the post.
Being creative is not an innate ability that you either have or you don’t. Creativity is not, in and of itself, a talent. Creativity is not related to IQ. Creativity is a way of operating. Read More.
If you are interested in writing lyrics with depth, you need a deep artistic well to draw from. All output requires input, and as a lyricist, I recommend you begin with words. Read the post.