A list song is a song based on (unsurprisingly) a list; it could be as simple as a list of the things you like or a list of things related to a particular topic. In this exercise, you are going to write your own list song. To get started, first have a listen to some […]
Here are two songwriting tips I heard on ‘The Working Songwriter’ Podcast. The first relates to that all too common situation where you can’t find a rhyme – other than one that is a bit awkward. It’s your ‘last resort’ rhyme; perhaps one you found in the rhyming dictionary. The tip was to switch […]
In his book, ‘How to write one song’, Jeff Tweedy outlines a useful exercise for finding ‘exciting’ new ways to pair words – to help you be more creative when writing your lyrics. In short, Jeff’s tip for writing better lyrics is to list verbs and nouns and then pair them in unusual ways. I’ll […]
The type of songs you write, your definition of ‘success’ and even your mental health will, to some extent, be dependent on your goals as a songwriter. So it’s important that you are clear about the reasons you write songs. Knowing why you write will allow you to choose goals that are in line with […]
This might sound like I’m blowing smoke up my behind, but it’s true nonetheless; I’ve never had a problem coming up with musical ideas. There’s a constant stream. However, that does not imply quality and it doesn’t imply great songs will flow from those ideas. I could easily write rubbish songs from now until I […]
If you have ever wondered what goes through someone’s mind when they are writing lyrics? You might find this interesting. It is based on notes I sent to David Vachell (songwriter and Songwriting Magic Group administrator) prior to our recent Songwriting Magic live Zoom event; reflecting on my own lyric writing process for the song, […]
Create hooks deliberately. Often you will be working on a song, you are well into writing the lyrics, but you haven’t given a single thought to whether the song has any hooks. Stop! Think! Can I create hooks out of what I already have? Can I express the point of my song in a memorable […]
A member of the Songwriting Magic Facebook group posted that she had came up with a song title but was really struggling to get any further. This was my reply. Connect your phrase to what is going on in your life or what has happened in your life. Write that story down. Don’t try to […]
Do you want to know how to write better song lyrics? Don’t you wish there was a simple formula? We all do. In truth, there isn’t a simple formula we can all follow. However, there are things we can do to improve our songwriting (and lyric writing) and one of those is to learn this […]
Often you will be writing a song and you will be thinking, I really should not write this, because my partner will think it’s about them. So you stop writing it. My advice is, don’t stop! You are a creative individual; you make things up; the things you write don’t need to be true. If […]
Here is something I’ve learned lately – I thought I’d pass on – before it disappears from my head. It turns out that making ‘home videos’ of my songs to post them on Facebook is a teaching tool. Because when I watch them back I can see what works and what doesn’t. It’s an obvious […]
Reflections on Quarantunes so far My friend Jim Byrne asked me how I can be so prolific, so I thought I would gather my thoughts on that. For context, I have been doing a lot of writing and recording, and sharing the results on Bandcamp as 4 Volumes (so far) of Quarantunes, over about 8 […]
Do you want to know how to write songs? Award winning Scottish songwriter Jim Byrne is ready to help. Songwriting Magic will educate and inspire you. It will give you the skills to write better songs, songs unique to you. Great songs you will be proud of.
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