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How to write songs you love

How Ed Sheeran Created “Shape Of You”

Posted by on May 23, 2018 | Comments Off on How Ed Sheeran Created “Shape Of You”

How did Ed Sheeran create one of the most popular songs of 2017? A song he never even intended to sing himself! Get into the middle of Ed...

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Lucinda Williams “Car Wheels On A Gravel Road”

Posted by on Apr 21, 2018 | Comments Off on Lucinda Williams “Car Wheels On A Gravel Road”

Lucinda Williams is a songwriting super-shero. Yes, most successful women who have to deal with a male-dominated industry often are. But,...

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Q&A: I Write From Inspiration But Need Discipline

Posted by on Apr 21, 2018 | Comments Off on Q&A: I Write From Inspiration But Need Discipline

  Waiting for inspiration to hit doesn’t always lead to a high volume, or even steady flow, of songs. We recently got a question in...

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What’s Furniture In Lyrics?

Posted by on Apr 20, 2018 | 1 comment

You’ve probably gotten song critiques that suggest you need more furniture in lyrics to give the song a stronger sense of showing...

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When To Stop “Finishing” A Song

Posted by on Feb 27, 2018 | Comments Off on When To Stop “Finishing” A Song

Finishing a song is important, don’t get me wrong. But, not every song deserves endless revisions. I believe there are some songs...

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Poetry As Lyrics: Using Anaphora

Posted by on Feb 24, 2018 | Comments Off on Poetry As Lyrics: Using Anaphora

We’ve all heard it: poetry as lyrics just doesn’t work.  But, as your songwriting skills grow, and you begin using figurative...

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Jason Isbell “Cumberland Gap”

Posted by on Jan 27, 2018 | Comments Off on Jason Isbell “Cumberland Gap”

Having worked in the Cumberland Gap area back in the day, I’d drive up 25E through Tazewell TN, past the Mustang Lounge, and wind my...

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Know Your Strengths To Create Goals

Posted by on Jan 21, 2018 | Comments Off on Know Your Strengths To Create Goals

We’ve all heard it: “Set goals to achieve success.” But, for many of use, songwriting is one of many things in our...

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Use Song Maps To Create Variety

Posted by on Jan 21, 2018 | Comments Off on Use Song Maps To Create Variety

Song maps are a way to find patterns and tendencies that you often repeat. Just changing a few of these items can create new songs in your...

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Object Writing: Quickest Path To Great Lyrics

Posted by on Jan 11, 2018 | Comments Off on Object Writing: Quickest Path To Great Lyrics

Object writing is one of the best ways to quickly advance your songwriting skills. It’s also a multitasking way to create ideas in...

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Partial Capos Help Create Variety

Posted by on Jan 7, 2018 | Comments Off on Partial Capos Help Create Variety

Partial capos sound complicated, but they can make your guitar playing easier and add a unique quality to how your songs sound. Why try...

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Simple Steps To Melodies

Posted by on Jan 5, 2018 | Comments Off on Simple Steps To Melodies

Melodies are one of the most difficult parts of songwriting, but you can become very proficient at it with some basic tools, meaning you...

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Perfect Songwriter Gifts?

Posted by on Nov 23, 2017 | Comments Off on Perfect Songwriter Gifts?

Looking for the perfect songwriter gifts? Not sure what they need, what they want or even what they’re talking about if they do...

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Gillian Welch & David Rawlings “The Way It Will Be”

Posted by on Sep 29, 2017 | Comments Off on Gillian Welch & David Rawlings “The Way It Will Be”

If you’ve followed the folk and Americana genres, or read Pat Pattison’s books on songwriting, you know who Gillian Welch and...

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Brandi Carlile “The Eye”

Posted by on Jul 16, 2017 | Comments Off on Brandi Carlile “The Eye”

I got a direct message through twitter asking about a Brandi Carlile song called “The Eye” (thanks Helen!). While I’ve...

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Change Perspective But Keep Your Point Of View

Posted by on Jul 9, 2017 | Comments Off on Change Perspective But Keep Your Point Of View

Perspective isn’t a common songwriting topic.  Most songwriting conversations revolve around Point of View (POV), but there’s...

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Texture In A Song: What Is It?

Posted by on Jul 8, 2017 | Comments Off on Texture In A Song: What Is It?

Texture is what helps tie your lyrics to an emotional connection for the listener. Texture is the particulars that give your scene...

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5 Steps To Organize Your Song Files

Posted by on Jul 4, 2017 | Comments Off on 5 Steps To Organize Your Song Files

It happens to every songwriter.  The business of music. Your focus is on writing songs, not organizing your song files!  Why bother? But,...

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Starting Your Songwriting Notebook

Posted by on Jun 29, 2017 | 0 comments

A songwriting notebook, also called a Hook Book, or a journal, is your idea vault. It’s one of the best ways to capture all of your...

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Eric Church “Record Year”

Posted by on May 6, 2017 | Comments Off on Eric Church “Record Year”

We’ll deconstruct Eric Church’s “Record Year” to discover the songwriting devices that made this song a #1 on...

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Songs Using Allusion: Joel To Swift

Posted by on Apr 27, 2017 | Comments Off on Songs Using Allusion: Joel To Swift

While it’s one thing to know what an allusion is, applying it to your songwriting is easier to grasp if you can study songs using...

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Allusion: What Is It?

Posted by on Apr 13, 2017 | Comments Off on Allusion: What Is It?

You probably see or hear an allusion in use a couple of times a day, but do you use it in your songwriting? Have you had a moment when...

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Can A Three Character Song Work?

Posted by on Mar 31, 2017 | Comments Off on Can A Three Character Song Work?

A three character song doesn’t work. We’ve all heard it, and if you haven’t, you will. In song feedback sessions...

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Chris Stapleton “Parachute”

Posted by on Mar 19, 2017 | Comments Off on Chris Stapleton “Parachute”

“Parachute,” written by Chris Stapleton and Jim Beavers, is one of my favorite songs on Traveller.  It delivers a universal...

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Who’s Coming To Your Co-Write?

Posted by on Mar 12, 2017 | Comments Off on Who’s Coming To Your Co-Write?

We’ve all had stories of nightmare co-writes with people who had clashing personalities. Maybe it wasn’t even you. Maybe you...

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