Category Archives: Best Posts

Writing Songs With – Charles Dickens: What Would Dickens Say?

With downloading we listen to everything in bits. Could you imagine what Charles Dickens would say if you said, ‘Could I just have one chapter?’ You’re creating a short story culture. What happened to narrative? Tori Amos: Mojo Magazine May … Continue reading

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Three Chords And The Truth: The Importance Of ‘Fact Checking’ Your Songs

Many years ago, I heard that legendary guitarist Ry Cooder was going to be doing a live taping at BBCs White City studios. As my sister lives nearby I felt we had a shot of getting a tape right into … Continue reading

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Naming Your Band – In 10 Easy Steps

Having been through the naming process so many times, with my own bands and ones I’ve taught, I’ve learned that trying to find THE GREATEST BAND NAME EVER is a fool’s errand. The best you can hope for (and what … Continue reading

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Do You Have To Suffer To Produce Great Art?

Beethoven was my homeboy growing up. Every artist has a ‘narrative’ and Ludwig’s was suffering made him a great artist. The 5th Symphony was him shaking his fist at the lightning, cursing fate. The world seemed to say, “You think … Continue reading

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Steve Jobs And The Rewind Button

I got the biography of Apple founder Steve Jobs for Christmas. I was hoping for some insight on how to be a creative thinker but it’s actually a pretty depressing read and there is little in the way that Jobs … Continue reading

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You Need Deadlines (Slight Return)

  My recent Ben Folds post got me thinking about how helpful deadlines really are to the songwriter. Q: Do you sit down to write or do you have to get struck by [inspiration]? Ben Folds: I have to get struck … Continue reading

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A Classic Song Finishing Tool – The ‘To Do’ List

In the realm of personal management it doesn’t get any more basic than the humble to-do list. But for me this little fella has made all the difference between a song getting lost in development hell and actually making it … Continue reading

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The Big Fat Lie That Most Musicians Believe

Once in a while a post comes along that kicks your butt like a Bruce Lee/Jet Li tag team. Bill Renfrew’s post Who’s Ready To Work?, the spinning roundhouse kick to my overblown metaphors, crystallized my thoughts here.  No matter how rational … Continue reading

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Top 10 Reasons NOT to Write Songs For Your Church

1) Wanting to write songs is probably an expression of your pride and shameless self promotion. Pride can ruin all ministry. I used to struggle with it but actually gained complete mastery over pride and selfish ambition on Mar 23rd … Continue reading

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Writing Songs With – Peter Jackson and Steven Spielberg

Welcome to an occasional series of posts gleaning songwriting tips from unusual sources. Can a worship songwriter learn anything from horror writer Stephen King? What can a prog-rock band learn from The Goon Show? Find out in the next few weeks, and … Continue reading

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