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Songwriting 101: How to Use the Top-Down Method to Write Great Lyrics Way Faster

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Last week, we talked about the wonderful world of collaboration between songwriters and how useful it is to find people you can learn from. This week, I want to teach you a songwriting method that's worked well for me and for my students at Berklee College of Music. Before you jump to conclusions and disagree with this approach to songwriting, hear me out.

Songwriting 101: How to Master the Art of the Co-Write

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I wanted to do a quick little article about the art of co-writing as a companion piece to the co-writing webinar I'm doing this Saturday, January 9 at 2:00 p.m. EST, hosted by SongwriterLink. My great friend and co-writer Charlie Snyder and I will be writing a song on the spot for you guys, letting you in on our process, and sharing some pro tips and tricks for collaboration. You can register for the webinar here – and if you can't tune in live, register anyway and you'll get lifetime access to the full webinar video!

Most people spend the first few years of their songwriting career writing by themselves. Same for me. I never wrote with other people until I went to Berklee College of Music – and only once I started writing with other people did I realize how bad I was. Just being able to see another writer's process, technique, and decisions in action was a revelation to me, and it became my new favorite game to play. Bye bye, Halo 2; hello, co-writing.

Songwriting 101: Here's the Simple Secret of 'Hooky' Songs That You've Never Noticed Before

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So far, we've discussed a range of things we can do to make our melodies and lyrics as effective as we can. But there is a whole range of arrangement and production tricks you can do to make your songs even more fun, hooky, and immediate.

Songwriting 101: The 3 Elements Every Lyric Needs to Hold People's Attention

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Last week, we discussed how the interesting use of concepts in your lyric can make your song really stand out and keep people's attention. This week, I want to delve a little deeper into the mechanics of a good song lyric.

Because English is not my first language, and because I spent my entire first 22 years not giving a damn about lyrics, you could say that I'm not a natural when it comes to putting words to the page. But because I had to learn the hard way, I was forced to find a few cool tricks to make it a little easier on me, and after reading this, hopefully it'll be the same for you, too.

Songwriting 101: The Top 3 Things Every Hit Chorus Has in Common

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Last week we talked about how to make any melody instantly catchy by using rhythmic motifs. In a nutshell: repeating stuff is cool. Repeating stuff is cool. Repeating stuff is cool. Repeating stuff is cool. Get it?

This week I'd like to take you into the wonderful world of lyrics. For some people, mostly musicians-turned-songwriters, lyrics are hell on a stick. Making dope melodies and tracks is easy peasy. But writing an interesting yet simple lyric that people can identify with and remember? That hasn't already been done a million times before? Kill me now.

I feel your pain, amigo. I grew up on instrumental classical and jazz music, and English isn't my first language. I didn't care about lyrics at all until I went to Berklee College of Music at age 22, and then fought for three more years against the fact that lyrics are super important! Without a good lyric, your song will never become a hit. Period.