X
X
Back to the top
X
Jack O Bocchino photo and poem

Complete Singer-Songwriter

Jack O Bocchino photo and poem

Inside the song: “Write Again”

Sometimes it's hard to pinpoint the inspiration for a song—it seems to materialize out of the ether. But in the case of my song "Write Again," released on the album Live and Listening, I can point precisely to the image above: a photo and poem by my friend Jack O. Bocchino. Here's the album track....

continue reading

Writing tools: the curio book

If you want to write—whether prose or poetry or songs, fiction or nonfiction—one great practice you can adopt to fuel your work is keeping what I call a curio book. This could be a small paper notebook or a notepad app on your phone—anything that you have with you wherever you go. Use this book to...

continue reading

Understanding song form

Adapted from The Complete Singer-Songwriter Beneath all the nuances of melodies and lyrics, most songs are built from the same basic parts—some kind of sequence of verse, chorus, bridge, and so on. For writing a song, learning to play someone else’s song, or communicating with other musicians, being able to identify these parts and patterns...

continue reading

Inside the song: “The Story” by Brandi Carlile

Brandi Carlile's breakthrough song "The Story," the title track of her 2007 album, sounds intensely personal, even cathartic. Carlile must be singing from raw experience, right? Actually, no. Her bandmate Phil Hanseroth wrote "The Story" before they even started playing together. Since her debut, all of the music appearing under the name Brandi Carlile has...

continue reading

Jason Mraz Acoustic Guitar magazine

Inside the song: “Lucky” by Jason Mraz and Colbie Caillat

"Lucky," the sweet, swaying duet written by Jason Mraz and Colbie Caillat with Tim Fagan, was originally released on Jason Mraz's 2008 album We Sing. We Dance. We Steal Things.  During an interview for Acoustic Guitar magazine (published in the October 2010 issue), Mraz told me that "Lucky"—like six of the tracks on the We Sing album—originated...

continue reading

Inside the song: “When the Master Calls the Roll” by Rosanne Cash

"When the Master Calls the Roll," a brilliant story song from Rosanne Cash's triple-Grammy-winning album The River and the Thread, has a back story that must be a rarity in the annals of songwriting: an artist co-wrote it with her husband and ex-husband. In the case of this song, Cash's collaborators were producer/guitarist John Leventhal...

continue reading

Behind the song: “The Strength to Not Fight Back” by Aaron Nathans and Michael G. Ronstadt

Guitarist Aaron Nathans and cellist Michael G. Ronstadt play musically adventurous folk with vivid storytelling. They just released their second album, Hang On for the Ride, and below Nathans shares the story behind his timely song "The Strength to Not Fight Back," about effecting social change through nonviolence. https://youtu.be/fKZcto7EaGM The story What is strength? Is it...

continue reading

Songwriting lesson: how to write a bridge

Think of the timeless ballad “Something,” from the Beatles’ Abbey Road, in which George Harrison muses on his lover’s allure over a wistful chord progression in the key of C. He sings a verse and loops back for another by way of the song’s signature guitar line, but the second time he lands not on a...

continue reading


Privacy policy / Terms and conditions   Copyright 2020 Jeffrey Pepper Rodgers