It’s 2018 and my newsletter is baaaack!

2018Sooooo, 2017 turned out to be the year I finally created my online course “Shortcuts to Great Song Lyrics.” I worked my tail off and I’m very proud of the way it turned out. (You can find out more by clicking here.) But because I was so focused on the course, I let the newsletter languish in a dark corner somewhere at the back of my closet. I apologize to the newsletter and to you.

Well, I’m back now and I’m making a few changes. This year I’m going to break up the newsletter into two parts – a song tip and a song guide – and send one of them out each month, instead of trying to do both of them together.  My emails were so long they were turning into ebooks!

My January 2018 newsletter is out now and has FIVE great tips for making 2018 your most creative, productive year ever! If you sign up for my newsletter before Feb. 7, you’ll get them in your inbox just like that!

So, don’t miss out. Sign up now. Drop your email address into the sign up form in the righthand sidebar on this page.

May your songs flow in 2018!

Robin

Songwriting Newsletter Is Out Now

Songwriting TipsMy latest newsletter is filled with useful, hands-on songwriting info and a secret songwriting trick I can’t wait to share with you! It’s so packed with tips and ideas to inspire you, it’s almost like getting a free eBook delivered to your inbox.

Song Tip: “Using Trigger Words” – Don’t miss this great tip! Listeners are ALWAYS distracted, especially the first few times they hear your song. But there are words that can get your song’s message across effortlessly. No matter how busy or noisy their world might be, listeners will hear the emotion, the character, and the situation at the heart of your song.

Alessia Cara

Study the HitsThree current hits that use Trigger Words and Key Lines. Find out how these hit songwriters use words that capture listeners and bring them back to listen again and again.

If you didn’t get your newsletter, sign up in the EMAIL FORM at the upper right. You’ll receive a Confirmation email. Click on the link in the email to confirm your subscription, then look for a “Thank You” email with the latest newsletter included. Your email is always private.

Hit Songwriting: “All Of Me” by John Legend

“All Of Me,” recorded and co-written by John legend, is a beautiful love song that has been embraced by listeners around the globe. The song went to #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 charts in the U.S. and was the second-best selling song of 2014. The YouTube video has had over one billion views. That’s billion with a “b.” Proof that, even in this era of giant Dance/Pop extravaganzas, a simple song with an honest, emotionally moving lyric can hold its own.

Because the production is so bare bones, the song itself has to sustain the listener’s interest. That’s a challenge for any song, but especially a ballad. There are a number of simple but very effective lyric and melody techniques at work here, ones that you can adapt for use in your own songs.

TECHNIQUES TO HEAR AND TRY:

• Sustain melodic interest in a ballad.

• Give a personal lyric universal appeal.

Read the lyrics here: All Of Me – John Legend

Buy it or listen on your preferred music site (Spotify, Apple Music, etc.).
Watch on YouTube

Recorded by John Legend
Writers: John Legend and Toby Gad

Genre/Style

“All of Me” is a power ballad in the Pop genre. It’s also classified as Adult Contemporary, which is a radio format. As its name implies, the Adult Contemporary format features songs that appeal to a broad adult age range, from 25 to 55. Surprisingly, though, this melodic ballad with minimal production also topped the Pop and R&B charts.

There’s a mix of influences here and it’s a little hard to tell who is influencing whom. Certainly this song reminds me of Adele’s huge hit “Someone Like You” but that song may have been influenced by John Legend’s own Neo-Soul hit of a decade ago: “Ordinary People.” And, let’s face it, everyone here is paying their respects to Lionel Richie.

Song Structure

This song has the same structure as most of today’s biggest Pop and Rock hits, yet it doesn’t really sound like one of those hits.
The structure is:

VERSE / PRE-CHORUS / CHORUS
VERSE / PRE-CHORUS / CHORUS
BRIDGE / CHORUS

VERSES: Verse 1 starts the song off with the line “What would I do without your smart mouth?” It’s a great opening line, immediately drawing the listener into the song with an intriguing question and a glimpse into a complex and very realistic relationship.

Verse 2 begins with “How many times do I have to tell you, even when you’re crying you’re beautiful, too.” Another unusual statement that makes us curious to hear more. Continue reading