Berklee Online presents

Songwriter’s Toolbox: 3 Lessons H.E.R.’s ‘Hard Place’ can Teach us about Songwriting

Andrea Stolpe walks us through H.E.R.’s song “Hard Place,” and tells us why it’s a great example of prosody, and how you can apply the same principles to your songwriting.

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Songwriter’s Toolbox: 3 Lessons The 1975’s “Give Yourself a Try” can Teach us about Songwriting

Berklee Online instructor and multiplatinum songwriter Andrea Stolpe discusses how to embrace lyrical and melodic ideas that don’t always agree, using the example of the 1975’s song, “Give Yourself a Try.”

Songwriter’s Toolbox: 3 Lessons Eric Church’s Song ‘Some of It’ Can Teach us about Songwriting

Eric Church’s Grammy-nominated song “Some of It” is a great example of the personal and universal “slice of life” that makes this type of writing tick.

How to Work Smarter as a Musician and Songwriter, and Not Just Harder

Having a desire to create without the time or process to create it can feel like an enormous burden. The solution is fairly simple: Make a plan and stick to it.

Four Critical Listening Tips for Songwriters

One of the most important techniques you can learn as a songwriter is how to listen critically. We start by breaking the different components of a song into four large moving parts: Melody, Chords, Lyric, and Groove.

8 Tools to Richer Chord Progressions (Part Two)

To find songwriting remedies for our chord progression difficulties, we often need to start by defining the problems. Here are four ways songwriters describe feeling ‘stuck’ when it comes to writing better chord progressions.

8 Tools to Richer Chord Progressions (Part One)

Chords are a driving element of many songs. When we’ve got four elements of songwriting to manipulate (melody, chords, lyrics, and groove), it’s natural to credit them or blame them for a successful song. But how do we songwriters find and use great chords?

20 Tips to Write 20 Songs in 20 Days (Part Four)

Continue the process of writing each day, limiting your time to just 30 to 40 minutes. This limitation helps create a no-excuse mentality, and I personally find it comforting to know that I don’t have to invest several hours of my day in order to do my part in allowing ideas to flow.

20 Tips to Write 20 Songs in 20 Days (Part Three)

We songwriters borrow from those who came before us. We take a groove we like, we’re inspired by a sample, we think in terms of a particular vocal quality or use a chord progression from another song and write something new over it. We keep one foot planted in what we know already works, so the rest of us can let loose over top.

20 Tips to Write 20 Songs in 20 Days (Part Two)

This is the second of four articles, published every Monday this month, suggesting 20 songwriting activities to help push outside the writing process that may be familiar to you.