SONGWRITING TIPS AND ADVICE ON THE ESSENTIAL INGREDIENTS FOUND IN ALL HIT SONGS

Tag Archives: lyric writing ideas

METALLICA PROMO PHOTO-1200x120011Metallica’s longtime lead guitarist Kirk Hammett has warned songwriters who record and store song ideas on their phone to make sure they always keep the phone backed up.

Hammett speaks from bitter first-hand experience. He recently lost his phone which contained over 250 unused Metallica song ideas and riffs. Metallica are, of course, famous for their heavy riff-orientated sound.

“I lost my iPhone with 250 musical ideas,” Hammett told the podcast The Jasta Show. “I was crushed. It didn’t get backed up. When it happened, I was bummed out for about two or three days. I’m still looking for it to this day …”

Hammett added: “All you musicians out there who use your phone, make sure it’s backed up, right?”

# # # #

“HOW [NOT] TO WRITE A HIT SONG! - 101 COMMON MISTAKES TO AVOID IF YOU WANT SONGWRITING SUCCESS” is available from Amazon as a paperback and also as an eBook from Amazon’s Kindle Store, Apple's iTunes Store, Barnes and Noble's Nook store, and from KoboBooks.com.How [Not] To Write A Hit Song! – 101 Common Mistakes To Avoid If You Want Songwriting Success” is available from Amazon as a US paperback, UK paperback and as an eBook from Amazon’s Kindle Store, Apple’s iTunes Store (Books/Arts & Entertainment/Music), Barnes & Noble’s Nook store, and from KoboBooks.

Read a FREE sample of the book HERE (USA),  HERE (UK),  HERE (Australia)  and HERE (Canada).


Taylor SwiftA new US TV commercial for Diet Coke shows Taylor Swift writing her latest single ‘22’ – supposedly being inspired by the can of Diet Coke that the Grammy-winning singer-songwriter is seen enjoying throughout the ad.

Filmed in Nashville, the TV ad – titled ‘Music That Moves’ – also features performances by Taylor’s fans singing and dancing along with the new song.

“Taylor is a true artist, deeply involved in the full creative process, from writing to production to release,” says Stuart Kronauge, general manager, Sparkling Beverages, Coca-Cola North America.

“The ‘Music That Moves’ ad shows Taylor in her natural element – penning lyrics that one day will speak volumes to millions of fans the world over … all while sipping on a Diet Coke. The commercial serves as a peek behind the curtain at an extraordinary day in the life of a true American superstar.

“Whether you’re writing a hit song like Taylor, or simply singing along, Diet Coke helps you Stay Extraordinary.”

You can judge for yourself HERE…

# # # #

How (Not) To Write A Hit Song! – 101 Common Mistakes To Avoid If You Want Songwriting Success” is now available from Amazon’s Kindle Store for only US$7.22 or GB£4.78.

Read a FREE sample of the book HERE (USA) and HERE (UK).

Also available from Apple’s iTunes Store (Books/Arts & Entertainment/Music).


Most songwriters would agree that keeping your songwriter’s antenna switched on to the world around you at all times is the best way to come up with great song ideas.

Being observant and keeping your mind constantly open for new ideas through your experiences, thoughts, feelings and observations can lead to some interesting songs.

But flicking through stacks of old thrift shop photographs does it for New York singer-songwriter Elisa Flynn (pictured above; photo by Elizabeth Graham). She finds that random second-hand photos of strangers can inspire lots of innovative ideas.

“I once picked up an evocative and weird picture of a woman in the woods balancing a tuft of moss on her wild, orange hair,” Elisa told Courier Life’s Brooklyn Daily. “It inspired me to write a song about the woman being lost in the woods and how she wants to stay there.”

Try looking at old photos of people you don’t know, and ask yourself Who? What? Where? When? How? and Why?-type questions about each photo. The answers to these questions may generate words, phrases and lyrical themes that could stimulate some interesting song ideas!

Of course, a good title or a lyric line can also come from overhearing a conversation on a train or in a café … or an event that you witness … or while you’re waiting at a traffic light. Similarly, a headline in a newspaper, on a website, or a billboard might spark a great idea for a song.

What is the strangest source of inspiration you’ve ever found for one of your songs?

# # # #

How (Not) To Write A Hit Song! – 101 Common Mistakes To Avoid If You Want Songwriting Success’ is now available from Amazon’s Kindle Store for only US$7.22 or GB£4.78.

Read a sample of the book HERE (USA) and HERE (UK and Europe).

Also available from Apple’s iTunes Store (Books/Arts & Entertainment/Music).


Taylor SwiftTaylor Swift advises new songwriters to use their past relationships to inspire great song ideas.

The six times Grammy award winner always tries to draw on emotions she has actually experienced, she says, because she believes people can relate to songs more if they are based on real personal experiences.

But it seems 23-year-old Taylor’s ‘true life’ approach to songwriting is making life hell for One Direction’s Harry Styles, her former boyfriend.

Harry is said to be worried about what her next songwriting move is going to be. She has already written the hit song ‘I Knew You Were Trouble’ about the break-up of their relationship, and she has reportedly aimed another jab at Harry in the promotional video for her new song ‘22’. The poor guy apparently doesn’t know what to expect next!

The 19-year-old One Direction star is reported to have told friends that he now regrets dating her because she keeps mocking him in her music. For Taylor, though, it’s all good material for her songs.

Different kinds of experiences inspire different kinds of songs, she says. “That’s why emotions are so beautiful to write about because they all sound so different to me.”

Taylor explains that real feelings can result in several types of songs – from ‘missing-him’ songs and ‘frustrated-and-confused, don’t-know-why-it-ended’ songs … to ‘I know we can’t be together but I miss you right now’ songs.

She says personal experiences can also inspire sad songs ‘tinged with anger’, guilt-laded songs, and sad songs that contain ‘a little bit of hope that he’ll come back’.

“I think songwriting is the ultimate form of being able to make anything that happens in your life productive,” Taylor insists. “If you get out of a bad relationship that was a complete waste of time, you can write about it and it can become a benefit to your career. How sweet is that?”

You can watch Taylor’s video for ‘22’ HERE…

The video for ‘I Knew You Were Trouble’ can be seen HERE…

# # # #

How [Not] To Write A Hit Song! – 101 Common Mistakes To Avoid If You Want Songwriting Success” is available from Amazon as a US paperback, UK paperback and as an eBook from Amazon’s Kindle Store, Apple’s iTunes Store (Books/Arts & Entertainment/Music), Barnes & Noble’s Nook store, and from KoboBooks.

Read a FREE sample of the book HERE (USA),  HERE (UK),  HERE (Australia)  and HERE (Canada).