Songwriting Analysis: Stone Temple Pilots “Interstate Love Song”

Interstate Love Song’s claim to fame may be those crazy jazz chords that permeate the verses, without sounding jazzy at all.  This video is less about what they are and how to play them on a guitar, but more about the effect of using such chords in rock context and …

Songwriting Analysis: Shawn Colvin “Sunny Came Home”

Having won her myriads of awards such as multiple Grammys, Shawn Colvin’s “Sunny Came Home” is a certifiably impactful song.  In this video I discuss three points of interests for us songwriters: Big jumps in the chorus melody: makes it distinct, dramatic and memorable Long chord sequences in the verses: more …

The Biggest Missed Opportunity in Writing Songs for Impact

If you are writing songs with lyrics, and if your goal is to create an emotional impact, then this is perhaps one of the fundamental concepts that you’ll want to keep in mind.  This is such an often-missed opportunity (even among songs that are very impactful already), though it is …

Tuneful vs. Untuneful Melodies

There are two different kinds of melodies.  Tuneful ones and untuneful ones. Now what is a “tuneful” melody? Definition It’s one where if you play that melody instrumentally, it still holds listeners’ attention. That sounds obvious if you’re talking instrumental music, but in songs with words, that’s not always a …