Which Comes First – The Music or the Lyrics?

(To listen to “Shepherd of the Stars” click here.) Some songs are born with words and music emerging together in a fit of creativity. Others start as a lyric in search of a melody. “Shepherd of the Stars” was neither. Instead, it began as a melody in search of words. Sometimes I like to simply sit […]

Songwriting Essentials: Songwriter or Theologian?

Christian songwriters have a unique layer to their writing that secular writers don’t have to deal with — theology. It’s important we examine our lyrics for Biblical accuracy and consistency. I am not suggesting that our songs be purely scriptural or that they be sermons set to music. But we need to be careful to avoid misleading or […]

Impolite and Rude: The Necessity of Self-Marketing

Impolite and Rude: The Necessity of Self-Marketing

As a child, my mother taught me that it is impolite to talk about one’s self. It was uncouth and rude to boast. God forbid I should ever pitch my own abilities as better than someone else’s – even in a competitive situation. What sort of awful braggart would that make me out to be? This […]

For Your Viewing Pleasure…

For Your Viewing Pleasure…

For the music business, YouTube has become the proverbial 800-pound gorilla in the room.  You can love it. You can hate it. But you cannot ignore it. The copyright abuses on YouTube are legendary, frustrating almost every songwriter and publisher on the planet. And the sheer number of cat videos might possibly be grounds to […]

The Big Finish

The Big Finish

No – this isn’t my my Big Finish – as in my last blog.  Well, at least I hope it’s not my last blog. If it is, then I’ve got bigger problems to deal with. This is about endings. Specifically – musical endings. The old “double bar line.” How we conclude our arrangements.  Because let’s face […]

Songwriting Essentials: Tips for a Better Co-writng Session

One of the most common goals of beginning songwriters is to collaborate. We want another writer’s ideas to spur us on to new heights. We want a partner whose creative gifts complement our own. We want somebody in the room to tell us how awesome we are. (Admit it – that last reason is the Main One.) For […]

Apologies and Explanations

Apologize first: It’s been well more than a month since my last blog entry (not that anyone has complained). This feels a lot like the old days, when I posted at the frequency of about once every six weeks. Like the lifelong dieter (another of my problems), I made the commitment to do better, to […]

Luke Garrett – The Final Sessions

This is a bittersweet post. I am glad to announce that Luke Garrett’s final four completed recordings are now available  – exclusively here at this website. These songs capture Luke at his expressive best, and I am certain every one of his fans will be moved by his masterful performances. At the same time I am sad beyond words […]

Songwriting Essentials: Rhyme Time

The single most common Poetic Device used in songwriting is without a doubt – rhyme. Unfortunately rhyme is seemingly so simple, the beginner songwriter may assume it to be easy. (Simple is very different than easy.) Really great rhyme is a well-practiced craft. For those of you songwriters that haven’t read my book (Shame on you, […]

Building Music – A Labor of Love

In 1968, as an 8th-grader in LaMarque, Texas, I took Shop Class. It wasn’t that I longed for a future of building furniture or fixing cars.  I didn’t.  (Nothing wrong with either of those fields. They just weren’t for me.) No. Like most every 8th-grade Texas boy in the 1960s, I was required to take a year […]