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Tips  // These are blog posts (mostly text) that are trying to teach or give advice on a particular topic.

28 Jan Posted by in Blog, Newsletter, Tips | Comments

Top 10 Songwriting Insights From Durango

Top 10 Songwriting Insights From Durango

Twice a year for the last six years or so, I have attended the four-day Durango Songwriters Expo. The people that attend this intensive confab are publishers, film supervisors, performers, and most of all songwriters of all ages. I’m going to break with my usual MO here and not drop any names, but I can ...

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29 Dec Posted by in Blog, Newsletter, Tips | 5 comments

The Honest Lyric

The Honest Lyric

There is no right or wrong way to write a song lyric. And there are no right or wrong lyrics. But, there is truth and falsehood. Is your song honest? Or are you just making rhymes? I was honored to be asked to write this column exploring the craft of lyric writing. I have no ...

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29 Dec Posted by in Blog, Newsletter, Tips | 2 comments

All About Five (Or V For Victory)

All About Five (Or V For Victory)

SUMMARY: This debut article takes a reasonably deep look at a basic topic. It describes the dominant chords, which are often referred to as V and V7. I’ll also illustrate how the chords function, how they’re used, and I’ll end with some examples. You’ll learn that a dominant chord can be used alone, or you ...

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07 Mar Posted by in Blog, Tips | Comments

Song Critiques: Why You Need Them, Why You Should Do Them

Song Critiques: Why You Need Them, Why You Should Do Them

Song Critiques: Why You Need Them, Why You Should Do Them There are two crucial steps that many amateur songwriters overlook in their quest to improve their craft and take their songs to the next level. First, they fail to subject their songs to a critique by other songwriters, and second, they fail to critique ...

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24 Oct Posted by in Blog, Tips | Comments

Songwriting Lesson: Matching Melodies and Lyrics

Songwriting Lesson: Matching Melodies and Lyrics

I would like to start off our little coaching session with a tip that is crucial for good song development. It’s sad but true that many songwriters ignore this skill I am about to tell you resulting in underdeveloped songs. It’s also a skill that’s not easy…I suppose that’s why many overlook it. Here it goes! ...

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09 Sep Posted by in Tips | 2 comments

Set Your Voice Free

Set Your Voice Free

Sound catchy? That’s the title of a book by “America’s #1 Vocal Coach” Roger Love that I bought some dozen years ago. At the time, I was living in cramped quarters, and when I would try to practice the funny sounds that he has his students pronounce, I would hear snickers from the people walking ...

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26 Aug Posted by in Tips | 2 comments

DIY Blues, Pt. 3: Touched For The Very First Time

DIY Blues, Pt. 3: Touched For The Very First Time

There is plenty of information about guitar repair on the internet, not all of it great (the article you are currently reading comes to mind). However, there are at least a few useful resources that will help you troubleshoot and provide a good overview of basic repairs. The following “Instructable”, written by an enterprising 15-year-old, ...

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20 Aug Posted by in Tips | Comments

DIY Blues, Pt. 2: Something Busted, Something Used

DIY Blues, Pt. 2: Something Busted, Something Used

So here’s my situation: I’ve got a beat up Epiphone Les Paul (muddy pickups that cut out, a missing tuning peg and buzzing strings) and don’t want to spend a fortune on repairs, let alone a new guitar. Inspired by the do it yourself (DIY) punk rock ethos detailed in the pages of Michael Azerrad’s ...

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12 Aug Posted by in Tips | 2 comments

DIY Blues, Pt. 1: Reviving a Dead Guitar

DIY Blues, Pt. 1: Reviving a Dead Guitar

Disclaimer: The author claims no authority or expertise in the matters discussed here within. Quite the opposite. He welcomes corrections, advice and scathingly negative commentary where appropriate. Hopefully, this odyssey will inspire other timid souls to delve into the realm of guitar repair. As the stock market sinks further and further, it’s hard to justify ...

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