On Songwriting | Musings On How To Write a Song

The Sweet Spot

The Sweet Spot

The craft of songwriting takes place amidst the rhythms and context of the rest of life. A pursuit unique to itself, but holding much in common with all else.

Remember the “Story of the Three Bears?” Like many fairy tales and mythologies, this story is relevant way beyond the nursery. The concepts of too hot, too cold or just right tend to show up just about everywhere, including music.

In many ways, especially music. Consider just a few of the extremes:

  • Too predictable = boring; too improvizational = hard to follow
  • Too fast = you’re making me nervous; too slow = you’re putting me to sleep
  • Too sentimental = sappy; too flip = shallow
  • Too loud = a wall of sound; too quiet = huh?

Somewhere between the polar points, there is a sweet spot that’s just right.

Songwriting, approached as a thoughtful craft, seeks that goal: a song that can be played over and over and listened to again and again.

You know it when you hear it. Accept no substitutions.

The good news is there’s always room for one more song… especially when it’s in the sweet spot.