Expert Music Career Advice For DIY Musicians
4 Times You Shouldn't Take the Gig
The Number One Mistake Bands Make Right After Booking a Gig
The Ultimate EQ Cheat Sheet for Every Common Instrument
15 Reality Checks Young Artists Need to Hear

How to Write Lyrics for the First Time

Image via Shutterstock

Musicians' jobs keeps getting broader. You might be a guitar player, but you’ll probably end up a mastering engineer, booking agent, and chief negotiator, too. One other thing you’ll probably be called upon to do sooner or later is write some lyrics. Even cover bands usually work in a few originals, and most bands that make it big focus on writing their own material.

Lots of players bring riffs and ideas to the table but don’t feel as comfortable with the written word. How do you start writing lyrics, especially with no background in poetry or prose beyond writing research papers in school? Try these methods on for size.

4 Things They Don't Tell You About a Career in Songwriting

Image via

This article originally appeared on


Since songwriters don’t get an orientation day when they start out, I thought I’d welcome you newcomers to the trade with a few things you probably haven’t been told or thought of yet. My intention here is not – is never – to discourage you but, rather, to help set your expectations so you can get on with the business of making your way along the path to a career in songwriting.

Why Every Songwriter Should Have a Hookbook

Image via

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.

3 Ways to Use Voice Leading to Improve Your Songwriting

Image via

Most songwriters wouldn’t think of using classical composition techniques like voice leading in their songwriting. Modern songs typically use fairly simple chord progressions, so why over-complicate things with outdated compositional techniques? When you think about it, though, voice leading actually has a lot to offer, even in the simplest song settings.

3 Reasons You Keep Hearing "No" on Your Demos

Image via

If you've been pitching songs, you've probably been hearing “no” a whole lot. Most of the time, the people you pitch may not give you any other reason than, “It's not what I'm looking for right now.” But sometimes they straight-up tell you, “The song is great, but I can't do anything with it. The demo is no good.”

Sometimes you can't guess just by process of elimination – the melodies rock, the lyrics are tight, you even pitched it to the right people. But somewhere along the way, something went south. It just might be your demo. Here are a few things that might be wrong with it.