WRITE A SONG

Create A Songwriting Habit

Because starting a song is the hardest thing to do, having a ready-made bucket of ideas, thoughts, observations, lines, hooks and cool words is one of the best things you can do for yourself, Sure - you can talk into your phone or leave your ideas scattered all over...

Auto-Generate Chord Progressions

One of the easiest ways to tune your ear into different sounds is to force the creation of variety in your chords. This gets you out of common patterns or melodies you might use and can be quite inspiring. Switch up what you normally use for a chord progression by...

Song Vamp

Using someone else's song to help you get started isn't cheating, and it's not copyright infringement unless you don't change it significantly. So, for the Ghost Songs Lyrics exercise, make sure you change the song you started with to get going. A good test? Can...

Ghost Songs: Lyrics First

Using someone else's song to help you get started isn't cheating, and it's not copyright infringement unless you don't change it significantly. So, for the Ghost Songs Lyrics exercise, make sure you change the song you started with to get going. A good test? Can...

Songwriter Glossary

A songwriter glossary of common terms you'll run across as you get feedback about your songs.   Allusion An expression or phrase used to call...

How To Write Song Lyrics: Number of Lines

How To Write Song Lyrics: Number of Lines

I got a question from one of the SongChops Members asking how to write song lyrics, and the number of lines in a verse, chorus and bridge in particular. What a great question - and one I realize I've never actually covered! So, how many lines should you have in your...

Best Songwriter Gifts In 2020!

Best Songwriter Gifts In 2020!

We're always on the lookout for innovative gadgets, software and books that can make songwriting and creativity easier. I'm a "one for you, one for me" kind of person, so whether you're buying for a friend or yourself, we want to make sure you know the best that's out...

Tips To Consistently Create New Songs

Consistently creating new songs can feel overwhelming, and song ideas can be like Bigfoot sometimes - pretty elusive! So you how do you: (1) make sure you have something to write about, (2) get those inspired moments into some sort of song idea form, and (3) keep the...

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SongChops Newsletter Archive

I've been getting requests for some of our newsletter "oldies but goodies." Here are some of our most popular for you to use between the time you sign up for a fresh one and our monthly send! Enjoy using these to get your songwriting going on track for some fantastic...

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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 Sheeran's co-write and see the process used to get to the final version of "Shape Of You" from keyboard riff to hook change! Ed...

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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 language like similes, metaphors, anaphora and imagery, you'll naturally begin writing more poetically. After all, if you've been using a...

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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 way through the gap toward Middlesboro Kentucky. Why do I remember these places so well? I was standing in the back room of a grocery...

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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 partial capos? You want a unique sound to a song for some variety with open tunings, but you don't want to be constantly tuning up...

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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 spend less time with trial and error. For me, contrast is the key to giving yourself a guide for your melody. You can worry about...

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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 mention anything? Well, here's a list of things every songwriter can use, and even if they already have it, they'll thank you for an extra!...

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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 listened to Brandi Carlile since her first album, I now realize I haven't mentioned any of her songs on the site, so now's the time! "The Eye" is a...

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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 something more than simple visuals. It delivers on something that pulls your listener in and helps them identify with the song. In its...

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Starting Your Songwriting Notebook

A songwriting notebook, also called a Hook Book, is your idea vault. It's one of the best ways to capture all of your great ideas, hooks, thoughts about what's going on with you, and moments of inspiration. A songwriting notebook is also your #1 tool when you're...

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Eric Church “Record Year”

We'll deconstruct Eric Church's "Record Year" to discover the songwriting devices that made this song a #1 on Billboard's Country Airplay Chart and #44 on the Hot 100 Chart, and garnered three CMA nominations. Written with band mate Jeff Hyde, who also co-wrote "Cold...

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