This page is under construction. I’m in the process of compiling tools that have been helpful for me and for students and others that I’ve coached in songwriting. Stay tuned.
In general, it seems that we often just need to write. Write often. Write those bad songs. Finish them. Throw them out. Laugh about them with your friends. Whether you’re ready to sit down and write a new song or you’re stuck with one you’ve started, here are some basic songwriting tools and reminders for everyone.
- Collaborate – If you’ve never considered it, ask another musician for help and input on something that you’re working on! Look for a songwriters’ circle near you and if you can’t find one, create one! Ask I get together with other songwriters as often as I can for cowriting sessions and I’ll often get (or send) simple voice memos with ideas that are in progress. A facebook group is another way of sharing ideas and getting
- Make (and break) The Rules – While it may sound silly, creating rules can be one of the best ways to get started with songwriting or to get unstuck. Here are some examples to get you thinking.
- Starting points: Start with the lyrics, the chord progression, a riff, an intentional plan for instrumentation, etc.
- Lyrics: Start with a title, find a hook, choose a rhyme scheme, etc.
- Chord Progressions: Understanding a key may be the biggest asset when it comes to songwriting. From there, there are all kinds of tools to engage with the progression, but knowing the basic options for chords and then how to apply them through traditional progressions and cadences.