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.
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.
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.
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.
You can find inspiration from anywhere – every song has a story, even if the song has nothing to do with the source of its inspiration. Read More.
Limiting your songwriting time may seem counter-intuitive, but it can help fuel your creativity in interesting and unexpected ways. Read more.
How many times have you been writing a chord progression, when you suddenly hit that wall? For those times when you’re writing a song and can’t find the right chord to complete a progression, this technique – using applied music theory – will help you discover your best options and help you complete your song. Read more.
Knowing a little music theory can help you dissect your favorite songs and better understand how to write songs of your own. We break down “The Hills” by The Weeknd in this post. We’re going to start by transcribing the chorus melody, figuring out the key, and then using the key to find the chords. Read more.
One of the most important jobs I have as a teacher is to identify and share the common elements I observe in successful songs while steering students clear from the pitfalls in songs that fall short. If you want to learn how to write a country song, here are some of the biggest lyric pitfalls to avoid. Read more.
Collaborating with another musician can produce great creative results. At the very least, working with someone new can take you out of your comfort zone, introduce you to new songwriting practices and ideas, and force you to up your game. For independent musicians, it can also be a boost of exposure. Read more.
Over the years we’ve posted songwriting advice that covers music theory, children’s music, interviews with hit songwriters, excerpts from books, songwriter’s block, and a variety of other topics that relate to the craft of writing a song. We’ve collected them here – check ’em out! Read more.
You’re writing a song, you’ve hit on a vocal melody you like and you’ve got a few chords, but you just can’t seem to finish the chord progression. You keep trying all the chords you know, but nothing seems to fit. After some frustration and failures, you put the idea aside, forget all about it, and another song bites the dust. Read more.
A song demo is trying to accomplish one thing: sell your song to the listener. While there’s no magic formula for rising to the top, these 9 tips will help you avoid sinking to the bottom of the pile. 9 ways to screw up your song demo: 1) Include a long intro, 2) Submit a track with crappy, cheap production, 3) Don’t read the tip sheet… Read more.
Most indie artists don’t have a lot of money in the bank, but if you’re going to spend your valuable savings, there may be alternative (I.e. less obvious) investments you can make to enhance your music career. What follows are seven ways to spend your money when you’ve got money to spend. Read more.