Verb Power

Making your songs memorable includes not only a great story, but great imagery as well. The words “jump” and “catapult,” while synonyms, have very different visual and emotional responses from a reader/listener. Verbs can help your songs rise...

Parts Songs

You’ve heard of a parts car – so why not have parts songs? One of the best ways to give yourself permission to pull a line you love from a song is to keep – just not in that song. I’ve got several songs where the song itself isn’t working...

Personification In A Song: “I Am A Town”

Personification in a song is hard to do well. Mary Chapin Carpenter’s “I Am A Town” is not only the most ambitious, with the highest potential for a disastrous lyric, but the best example of how to do personification in a song exceptionally well! I...

Song Hook Hook-Ups!

As a songwriter, finding a great song hook is your bread and butter. But waiting for the light bulb moment to happen can be stressful. So how do you make finding great hooks easy? Consistent song hook sources! Below are a few I use regularly to spur ideas or just get...

5 Core Elements Of Song Plot

What is a song plot? Sure – all songs have them, and as a songwriter you’re supposed to create compelling plots with interesting twists or takes on life, but how do you get started? There are five core elements of a plot.  We’ll highlight them, and...

Song Prompt: Song Plot Roulette

Get Started With Song Plot Roulette   I thought we’d use some lists I’ve compiled from several places and categorized to give you a quick selection grid for key song elements. Go step-by-step using the grids below, and you should have a pretty good plot...

Even Dialogue Songs Need A Scene

Dialogue songs are songs that are really nothing more than direct address.  Basically, a dialogue occurs whether the listener knows it or not. In a dialogue song you might have some actual back-and-forth or exchange of conversation, but for the most part it’s a...

Personification In Songs

What is personification? Personification is the endowment of inanimate objects or abstract concepts 
with animate or living qualities. Caution is recommended to not over-endow an object or concept with living qualities.  It can quickly turn unrealistic, or comic if...

When Is Third Person Best?

There are certain situations that immediately point to a specific point of view to be used for your song. While you can go with another point of view, for the most part, if you’re dealing with a song idea that fits any of the below, you may want to go with the...

Similes As Song Ideas

Similes are great songwriting devices in lyrics.  But, they have dangers that are amplified when you use them as a hook.  Let’s take a look at a song with a simile for the hook and see what makes it work. We’ll use Randy Houser’s “Like A...

What’s A Pre-Chorus?

Is the pre-chorus the same as a lift, a channel, a ramp, a climb, a refrain?  Yes, yes, yes, yes – no. While you’ve heard people talk about the pre-chorus, what’s its role in a song and when should you be leveraging it to create a great song?...

What’s A Song Bridge For?

How is a bridge different from a verse or a chorus?  Do you even need one in your song? Understanding all of the different song parts, or song elements, is sometimes confusing, but an essential part of creating a great song. While you can always find the definition of...

What’s A Song Chorus For?

How is a chorus different from a bridge or a verse?  Understanding all of the different song parts, or song elements, can be tricky. Everyone will tell you the definition of a chorus, but what does that really mean when you’re writing? How should you be thinking...

What’s A Song Verse For?

Song parts, or song elements, are tricky. Everyone will tell you the definition of a verse, but what does that really mean when you’re writing? How should you be thinking about the overall structure and the role of the verse? We’ll break down each of the...