Tag Archives: songwriting

Songwriting Tips from the Experts, Part 10

Very rarely do the best baseball players turn into the best managers.  Sparky Anderson’s lifetime batting average was .218; Tony LaRussa’s, .199.  Mediocre numbers on the field didn’t stop either from becoming the only two managers to win a World … Continue reading

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Songwriting Tips from the Experts, Part 9

“I was doing a concert, and I sat down at the piano and started playing a new song in D, and the crowd started clapping even though they’d never heard this song, because what I was playing in D [sounded like] what I always habitually play in D on the piano, and they thought it was a song they’d already heard.” Continue reading

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Songwriting Tips from the Experts, Part 8b

“I’m not advocating that level of scrutiny for cwm necessarily, but it would be nice to get a sense periodically that an inner critic was at work a bit more often in cwm.” Continue reading

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Songwriting Tips from the Experts, Part 8a

As was the case with Bob Dylan, I came late to the Leonard Cohen party, and I’ve been catching up ever since. Non-aficionados will at least recognize “Hallelujah,” his best-known song, one covered by a slew of artists over the … Continue reading

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Songwriting Tips from the Experts, Part 7b

We feature more this week from the always mercurial, occasionally obnoxious, often puerile, never boring mind of Frank Zappa, courtesy of the interview conducted by Paul Zollo in his Songwriters on Songwriting. As noted earlier, though Zappa died in 1993, … Continue reading

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Songwriting Tips from the Experts, Part 7a

“Until [there is a change in attitude at the distribution level], there is little hope that a person who is doing anything other than formula swill will have an opportunity to have his music recorded, let alone transmitted.” Continue reading

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Songwriting Tips from the Experts, Part 6b

Two weeks ago we heard from Jimmy Webb in this ongoing series on some of the best songwriters of the 20th century. Webb’s father was a Baptist minister for 20+ years, and Webb cites his time in church as formative … Continue reading

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Songwriting Tips from the Experts, Part 6a

“The point, in summary, is this: The chord structure drove the song, and once the interesting chords were in place, the melody almost wrote itself.” Continue reading

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Songwriting Tips from the Experts, Part 5

“And I am very anxious about worship songs which have deconstructed the tune–the idea of a tune–and that’s the radical nature of post-modernity to reconstruct the narrative.” Continue reading

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Songwriting Tips from the Experts, Part 4

“Another thing that I do is I might play someone else’s material that I really like and that sometimes unlocks a channel.  The danger in that is that you’re gonna write that person’s song for your next song.  It’s just sit down and, again, if you’re a lyric writer, read something that you really like, enjoy something that you really like.  Or sometimes I’ll play something of my own that I really like, something that is already existing that is fun.” Continue reading

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