Friday, June 28, 2019

5 Reasons Your Songs Suck

Have you ever felt like no matter what you do your songs just suck? We've all been there. Here are a few things you can check out that might be able to help fix your songs. Hopefully, some tip here will be just the magic that you've been missing.

 1. Boring Chord Progressions - Some songs can play the same simple chord progression over and over and for some reason it's magical. Think Joe Cocker's version of  "Feelin' Alright," or "Rockin' Pneumonia and the Boogie Woogie Flu." These songs have just two chords but for some reason they do not get boring. Yet sometimes as songwriters we find ourselves reverting back to the same trite chord progressions that we use all the time. Try something new, and maybe your song will find the spark it needs.

2. Bad Production - This is something I have been guilty of myself, bad production can ruin a pretty decent song. Maybe the vocals are just a little bit off, or maybe you could go back and do the guitar line over just one more time. It might be the thing that really fixes a poorly produced sounding track.

3. Simplistic Lyrics - I don't know how many songs I've heard where the writer went for the simple lyric. And it isn't just with amateurs, there are a lot of songs that artists just consider "filler" that could have had a better lyric. Don't settle for a lyrics written at the kindergarten level. Dig deep and come up with something better. Here's a hint, your first rhyme probably isn't the best one.

4. Repetitive Melody - This is almost as bad as the monotone melody that has taken over the airwaves today. A repetitive melody that sounds like it could have been a good hook, but instead of writing supplemental material, just gets used over and over through the entire song, is something that you really want to avoid. Even the above mentioned simple songs, change it up from the verse to the chorus even though the chords don't change.

5. Whiny Melody - I don't know how to describe this, but you will recognize it when you hear it. Some songs just make the singer sound like a whiner. I mean when you think about it, all blues songs are basically sung by whiners. But you never, ever think they are really whiners the way they sing them. But there are some songs out there that just sound like you want to punch the singer in the face instead of sympathizing with them. Don't be one of those songwriters.

So there are a few more ideas to consider if you feel your songs are lacking some of the sparkle they need. If you found these tips helpful, you can find out more about songwriting tips and tricks in my new book: "Lyrics and Music: Music Theory for Aspiring Songwriters" available now at, or with several additional Appendices at Barnes and Noble.

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