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The Music Lab: The “Instant Melancholy” Chord Substitution

Welcome to “The Music Lab,” a new column powered by SongTown and featured in American Songwriter every month.  I’ve been blessed to get away with some interesting chord changes over the course of my songwriting career. Those...

Prolific Josh Ritter Offers Advice To Songwriters At Several Levels

Singer-songwriter released his self-titled debut album in 1999, and has gone on to put out ten studio albums, earning acclaim for his unique blend of folk, Americana, and rock. Now, more than 20 years into his career, he’s still prolific,...

Old Sea Brigade, Luke Sital-Singh Offer Songwriting Advice

On August 28, indie folk artist Ben Cramer (who works under the moniker Old Sea Brigade) and fellow singer-songwriter Luke Sital-Singh released a collaborative EP, All the Ways You Sing in the Dark, their first project together. Sital-Singh has also released...

Ricky Reed Advises Songwriters to Prioritize Collaboration

Looking at Ricky Reed’s discography, it’s hard to find somebody he hasn’t worked with. From Lizzo and Twenty One Pilots to Meghan Trainor and Jason Derulo, there’s no shortage of A-listers that Reed’s name sits right next...

Air Traffic Controller Offers Songwriting Advice For How To Get Started

Dave Munro, frontman/songwriter for Boston-based indie folk-pop band Air Traffic Controller proved his expertise when his band’s debut album The One (2009) and its follow up, NORDO (2012) earned significant exposure on MTV and NPR. For their third album, Black Box...

Lauren Alaina Shares How She Grew as a Songwriter

Despite racking up millions of monthly listeners, garnering substantial critical acclaim for her sophomore album Road Less Traveled, and collaborating with some of country’s biggest stars like Kane Brown and Trisha Yearwood, Lauren Alaina wasn’t always the...

Jillette Johnson Gives Songwriters Advice On How To Get In The Flow

On August 6, singer-songwriter Jillette Johnson released the single “I Shouldn’t Go Anywhere,” the first new material that she has put out in three years. The song marks a transformation for Johnson, revealing a new sense of optimism in both her...

Cidny Bullens Offers Songwriting Advice That Anyone Can Follow

On August 21, Americana singer-songwriter Cidny Bullens released Walkin' Through This World -- it is a debut album, in that it is his first album he’s done as a man after transitioning from the female to the...

Jerrod Niemann Gives Fundamentals First Advice for Aspiring Songwriters

Since moving to Nashville in 2000, country star Jerrod Niemann’s has become renowned for his unusual and innovative songwriting style. Within a year of his arrival, he was writing with Garth Brooks, and major artists such as Lee Brice, The...

Songwriter U: The World According to Stephen Sondheim

Sondheim. Besides being the name of one of our greatest living songwriters, it’s also a symbol for greatness as a songwriter for musical theater. A legend among legends, his name resounds among older songwriters the same way...
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Songwriter U: The Truth About Songwriting, Part 3.

Featuring Finneas, Billie Eilish, The Beatles & BuddhaOn how limitations create possibilities
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