All posts by John Pape

How to Write a Song Info Graphic

August 21st, 2019 by

How to Write a Song Info Graphic

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How to Finish Your Artistic Project Like a Songwriter

August 1st, 2019 by

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An Artist’s Guide to Completing a Creative Piece

You are an experienced artist; you know how to start your work, know how to find inspiration, the importance of editing, and all the other things you need to do to create great pieces of art. But sometimes, no amount of experience or knowledge can make it easier to finish your creative works. Stepping away from a project and calling it “done” can be one of the hardest things to accomplish as an artist. In this guide, I will share my three easy steps to completing your creative pieces, using the process of a songwriter as an example. (more…)

More Than Lyrics – Becoming a Songwriter

March 27th, 2019 by
more than lyrics becoming a songwriting

There is more to becoming a songwriter than just writing lyrics. Lyrics are just one of many elements that make a song. A well rounded songwriter needs skills to compose melodies, create chord progressions as well as the ability to write lyrics.

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7 Mindfulness Skills That Will Boost Your Songwriting

January 29th, 2019 by

Mindfulness Skills Boost SongwritingWhen a songwriter wants to write a song, what is the first thing that comes to mind?

  • Is it the words?
  • The melody?
  • The rhythm?

A great songwriter knows that it is none of these things. It all comes down to the spirit of the song. The reason why the songwriter is writing the song in the first place. The purpose or meaning behind it. The message it communicates. The feeling it cultivates. What I hope to present to you today are 7 smart ways to integrate mindfulness into your songwriting

These are the drivers of a great songwriter. He or she knows that everything exists in the mind and heart. Most of the great songs you hear today would not come to existence if they had no meaning or purpose behind them. This is the reason why as a great songwriter, you need to cultivate mindfulness into your songwriting. Cultivating mindfulness means being aware of what is around you. Once you do this, everything about the song just falls into place. (more…)

Best Singers of All TIme

December 1st, 2018 by

We all have a favorite singer, whether it’s from this decade or another. There are a few artists, though, that everyone seems to fall in love with. From Elvis, to Diana, to Whitney there are stand out singers that made entire generations stop and listen.

Whether you’re a fan of R&B, country, or rock there are singers on this list you’re bound to love. You might even discover a few that you weren’t familiar with. So take a look and listen to some of the best singers of all time. (more…)

Lyric Writing Tips – Exercises to Improve Your Songwriting

September 1st, 2018 by

lyric writing tipsWriting songs is a creative act. Here are some valuable lyric writing tips you can use when writing songs. As with most creative activities it does require a certain level of skill. In order to write better songs there are certain thing you can do to improve your skill. To improve your skill can try some of these exercises.
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Songwriter Challenges – Putting Thoughts Into Words Into Music

August 11th, 2018 by

Songwriter Challenges Putting Thoughts Into Words Into Music -As a songwriter you probably come up with ideas for songs quite often. These ideas float around in your head until you take the time to start writing. Going from the head to paper can sometimes be a challenge for many songwriters. Some of biggest of songwriter challenges is deciding what to do and when to do it.

Basic Ingredients of a Song

A song consists of two basic elements. These elements are lyrics and music. The music is the melody of the song and the lyrics are words. A good song will take both elements and meld them together into one cohesive unit. (more…)

5 Key Characteristics of a Successful Songwriter

July 5th, 2018 by

successful songwriter Sign Road BeachToday we are going to look at behaviors that create your character. Understanding these elements will help you become a successful songwriter. Your character is essential to who you are and how you act. It is a combination of certain attributes. Even though these things are really about the whole person, nurturing them will increase your level success. (more…)

Using Popular Song Motifs to Write New Songs

June 19th, 2018 by

equalizer song motif music notesOne of our readers asked the following question:

Is it helpful to try to write lyrics for an existing popular song motif?

I really appreciate the chance to answer readers questions. One think I believe is helpful is many questions are never asked. Since that never are asked there is no opportunity to answer them. That is why I like reader questions. Many times the question asked could be the one that will help you with your songwriting efforts. (more…)

What is the best way to start writing lyrics?

June 12th, 2018 by

start writing lyricsOne of our reader’s asked the following question:

What is the best way to start writing lyrics?

I really appreciate the chance to answer readers questions. One think I believe is helpful is many questions are never asked. Since that never are asked there is no opportunity to answer them. That is why I like reader questions. Many times the question asked could be the one that will help you with your songwriting efforts.

There are several ways to start writing lyrics.  I will do my best to explore each one. Hopefully it will inspire you to write many songs. (more…)

What Is Tonality Based Ear Training

June 11th, 2018 by

Tonality Based Ear Training Infographic

Tonality based ear training makes up the core of the approach at Ear Training HQ. It’s the approach I strongly advise every musician to focus their attention on until they’ve mastered it.  I believe every musician should know at least the basics of what tonality based ear training is and how it works.

Like this infographic? Get more ear training lessons from Ear Training HQ.

Songwriter’s Question: Getting the Right Song Emotion

June 5th, 2018 by

Song Emotion Question

Here is a question from the Learn How to Write Songs Facebook Group regarding a problem with the right  song emotion.

I’m having problems creating of a “happy” song. My songs always end up as a ballads and I don’t know, how to change that.  Do you have any ideas, how to combine chords to get a “good mood” song?

This is a great question that plagues many songwriters. The core of this question I believe is how to set the right emotion for a song. Of course there are several factors that the songwriters needs to consider.

To begin, the songwriter needs to start out knowing what mood the song will portray. In simplest terms that are “Sad” or “Happy” songs.

Creating the right emotion in songwriting involves two factors working together. These two factors are the lyrics and the music.  Both elements together can produce powerful emotions.  Now, let’s take a look at how lyrics and music create emotions in a song. (more…)

What is the Best Way to Begin songs?

May 29th, 2018 by

begin songs - Songwriting FlowchartHere is a question from a songwriter regard how to begin songs.

Do you need to have music before you can write the lyrics or do you work the music around the lyrics?

This is one of the most common questions beginning songwriters ask. Keep in mind that songwriting is a unique craft that bring words and music into unison.  Words are matched up with a melody to create a song.

The short answer is you can begin either way.  You can begin with the lyrics or begin with the melody.  Every songwriter has a preference.  There is no right or wrong answer in regards to how to begin songs.  Regardless of how you begin songs the most important is to get started. (more…)

Songwriting Exercises You Can Use to Start Writing Lyrics

May 26th, 2018 by

Songwriting Exercises You Can Use to Start Writing Lyrics microphone dawOne of our reader’s asked the following question regarding songwriting exercises for writing lyrics:

What exercises can I do to start writing lyrics?

I really appreciate the chance to answer readers questions. One thing I believe is helpful is, many questions are never asked. Since that never are asked there is no opportunity to answer them. That is why I like reader questions. Many times the question asked could be the one that will help you with your songwriting efforts.

If you want to start writing lyrics you will need to do certain songwriting exercises. Most of these exercises involve playing with ideas and words.

Every song starts with a central idea, from that idea comes a story.  The story is structures poetically through meter and rhyme. A song will them transform into a certain song structure with sections like verse and chorus. (more…)

How Doing Everything Can Be A Songwriters Worst Nightmare

May 15th, 2018 by

Songwriters Worst Nightmare Working on Car Oil MessI recently had a big problem with  my car. It had a huge oil leak coming from the oil pan. It was not always that way. I made it that way. Thankfully it is now fixed. But this is the end of a lesson I had to learn regarding having a little knowledge but not being an expert. And this is a lesson for songwriters as well. Although this is about my car the lesson can be applied to many areas of life. This includes songwriting.  Here is my story and how I learned that by doing everything my self can become a songwriters worst nightmare. (more…)

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  • Songwriter Tip:

    Here’s a tip for songwriters of all levels and abilities. Use a variant of the K.I.S.S. principle. Everybody knows this old acronym for Keep It Simple, Stupid. For songwriters, the adage is adapted to become Keep It Simple [and] Singable. Hit songs are singable by the people who listen to the songs as well as by the artists who record them. Keep this in mind when you write your songs.