All songwriters experience time when they just can’t seem to get the right flow or idea across in the music

Make sure your songs are not all in the same key. It may sound obvious, but it’s very easy to just stick with what’s easiest for you to write or sing in, and if you don’t keep an eye on this your songs could all end up sounding similar to each other.

Try to introduce plenty of dynamic and metric interest into your songs, so that they peak and subside rather than plodding along on one level. If a song’s verse has lots of short words in a choppy rhythm, try using long, sustained notes for the chorus.

when you have something to write a song about but can’t think how to start the lyrics: sit down with paper and pen (or a word processor) and write down every word and feeling that comes into your head about that subject: the process can give you a push in the right direction, and the resulting words are the ones that you’ll need to work in if the song is to make a genuine impression on the listener.

Listen to as many of other peoples’ songs as you can. Focus especially on those songwriters whose works are considered classics, and don’t neglect the best of what’s happening now. Always be thinking about what makes a classic song so good while you’re listening to it. Try to pick up on arranging tricks and song structures, and remember them; even make a note of any you particularly like. This isn’t stealing — it’s studying.

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