If you’ve been creative for any length of time, you’ve noticed that things tend to ebb and flow. You can have an incredibly productive month (or two, or three) and then be tapped out for ideas for a little while. It happens to everybody. Pro writers are able to sidestep that issue by having something called a “hookbook.” A hook is nothing more than an idea – usually a song title, but it could be a guitar lick or melody line. Here’s what you need to know about starting your very own hookbook.
Many artists and writers outside of Nashville tend to do solo writes (pop artists being an occasional exception). Nashville is a bit different in that writers often team up to collaborate. The process can be daunting and confusing. I’ve had friends and writers tell me about sessions that weren’t working. “Is this me? I must be a bad writer…” Most of the time, that’s not the case and simply a matter of personalities and styles not gelling. Here’s just a few ways to tell if it’s not working out.
No element of a song is more important than the melody – it’s what grabs us and keeps us coming back. Friedemann Findeisen, author of The Addiction Formula and founder of Holistic Songwriting, has been studying hit song melodies for over a decade. In this webinar on October 22, 2016 presented by SongwriterLink and Songwriting magazine, he’ll share the proven formulas and songwriting tools you need to write strong hooks every time.
In 1676, Isaac Newton delivered the famous quote, “If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.” In this bit of wisdom, Newton tapped into a timeless truth that historical progression comes from taking what has been learned from the greats before you and building from there. Check out these bits of wisdom from 10 songwriting giants.
There are millions of exercises out there that might be able to quicken your thinking or raise your level of alertness. Theater improv exercises and games of Sudoku are great ways to keep your brain active and stave off dementia. But whether these things help with music and composition is anyone’s guess. Today’s set of exercises is aimed directly at playing and writing music, focused on widening the mental pathways that allow us to create and perform songs.