Love him or hate him, there’s a lot about Dylan’s career arc that is important and inspirational for songwriters, from his transforming song form to the fact that he’s kept writing almost non-stop for six decades. Read More.
Taking liberties with traditional song structures can be a great way to stand apart from your peers, keep listeners on edge, add a sense of drama, and make even a short song seem like an epic. Read More.
We look at recurring songwriting and chord techniques Brian Wilson used to create some of the most beloved and enduring songs in 20th century popular music. Read More.
There are many diverse kinds of ninth chords, and they are used in different ways. In this post, we’ll explore different kinds of ninth chords, how to use them, and provide examples of their use in popular music. Read More.
One process that may be useful for musicians is mind mapping, a visual tool that requires you to generate, organize, and explore new ideas based on a central theme or concept. Read More.
Nobody is born a poet. Creative writing workshops are filled with aspiring Dickinsons and Whitmans suffering through the same mental block that musicians experience. These writing exercises can help you do something about it. Read More.
Jazz musicians know and integrate substitution chords (also known as chord substitution or reharmonization) on a regular basis, but musicians who play other genres of music can also employ this concept to great effect. Read More.
As a musician, it’s important to listen to music genres outside of your own. The term “bimusical” has been coined to express a degree of fluency in different styles of music, and there are compelling reasons to aspire to being bi. Read More.
There’s no “formula” to write a great chorus or hook, but these techniques can spark ideas to write, rework, or critique your own songs. Read More.
Deliberate isolation helped Cage The Elephant find its voice. Maybe you can try the same to strip away your influences and find your voice as a musician. Read More.
Music theory is a set of tools you can lean on to help you write and compose, and being deliberate in how you arrange your parts can translate to a better sound on stage. Read More.
You may think musical creativity exists and flourishes outside the bounds of habit and structure, but the truth is, you work best when you adhere to a stable routine and a healthy lifestyle. Read More.
If your music practice routine has plateaued, it’s time to challenge yourself and try something new. We’ve got tips to get you out of your creative rut. Read More.
When sharing music tracks, having a plan for how to prepare your material for easy remote collaboration can save significant time and help avoid headaches. Read More.
While this advice is focused on songwriters looking to land a song on a major label artist’s album, knowing some of the elements that go into hit songwriting can help you excel, whatever your musical ambition. Read More.