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...
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...
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...
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...read more
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...read more
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...read more
Lucinda Williams is a songwriting super-shero. Yes, most successful women who have to deal with a male-dominated industry often are. But, she was one of the first women, no - songwriters, to raise Folk and Americana music to a "maybe Nashville needs to grab a little...read more
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...read more
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...read more
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...read more
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...read more
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!...read more
If you've followed the folk and Americana genres, or read Pat Pattison's books on songwriting, you know who Gillian Welch and David Rawlings are. Since Revival, their first album in 1996, Welch and playing partner David Rawlings have become Americana legends. One of...read more
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...read more
Perspective isn't a common songwriting topic. Most songwriting conversations revolve around Point of View (POV), but there's more to creating a unique song idea and story than just the main speaker's point of view. Perspective is something you can change while still...read more
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...read more
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...read more
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...read more