Songwriting Magic Blog

Warren Starry Sky at Merchant City Festival

How to set and achieve your songwriting goals

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 […]

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Jim Byrne Edinburgh Folk Club

Staying motivated as a songwriter and finding inspiration

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 […]

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Reflecting on my process for writing the lyrics.

Reflecting on my process for writing lyrics

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, […]

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Burt Bacharach

Songwriters Tip: Create hooks deliberately

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 […]

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Writers Block

Writers Block – How To Get From A Title To A Full Lyric

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 […]

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iPhone and iPad

Songwriting Forums

Songwriting Forums Muse Songwriters Acoustic Guitar Forum Songstuff Songwriters in the kitchen

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Learn from storytellers to write better song lyrics:

How to write better song lyrics: learn from storytellers

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 […]

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Don’t censor yourself when writing a song

Don’t censor yourself when writing a song

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 […]

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Improve your live performance

How to become a better live performer of your own songs

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 […]

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Tom Rafferty

Tom Rafferty Reflects On His Writing Process

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 […]

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Jim Byrne with Album Oh My Beautiful You

How to write hit songs

Here’s something that will surprise you. If you aim is to write hits songs; ironically, those might be the easiest songs you could ever write. I have an expanded article about this on my Songwriting Magic Course – but here is a quick summary. A critical part of my argument is the idea that you need […]

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Five Things Songwriting Beginners Need To Know

1.Learning to write songs is difficult Learning to write songs is difficult because learning any new skill is difficult. It takes time to become great. Along the way, you are going to get frustrated, make mistakes and write a lot of shit songs. That’s just the way it is. Accept it (and enjoy the journey).  […]

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Indie Rock

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Jim Byrne sings Blind Blind Love

My second go at, ‘Live From Home’

Here’s me singing a new song called, Blind Blind Love Country or Americana in style? Old but with a modern twist?We went to visit Linda Jaxson a few months ago and I recorded Linda on my iPhone – doing a particular fantastic version of this song. So this one is for you Linda.

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Jim Byrne playing live

Jim Byrne – My Journey Into Music & Songwriting

As a teenager my dream was to be a full time musician and to be on Top of the Pops. Considering I was a teenager in the 1970s it seems to be taking longer than I thought. Is it time to reconsider? Thinking about this reminds me that a couple of years ago I was […]

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