Category Archives: Quotes

John Legend on songwriting…

“I have a structured songwriting process. I start with the music and try to come up with musical ideas, then the melody, then the hook, and the lyrics come last. Some people start with the lyrics first because they know what they want to talk about and they just write a whole bunch of lyrical ideas, but for me, the music tells me what to talk about.”
–John Legend

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Sturgill Simpson on songwriting…

“Songwriting… there’s no wrong way to do it.” –Sturgill Simpson.

Townes Van Zandt on Pancho & Lefty

“I wrote this song about two Mexican bandits I saw on the TV two weeks after I wrote this song.” – Townes Van Zandt, about the song Pancho & Lefty.

Songwriting advice from Jason Isbell…

“I just take a lot of notes, whether it be on my phone, laptop or actually written down in a notebook. I’ll revisit those when I get time to sit and write. I try to be really observant and play close attention, because people say things that are really poignant all the time. Most of it just slips in one ear and out the other.

“If you learn to focus on those things and pay attention to the world around you in a different way, the inspiration is always there. Then it just takes a lot of work really. Some songs come quicker than others, but most of them I’ll spend a lot of time on just to make sure I’m saying exactly what I want to say and there’s no dead weight; any floral language that doesn’t really serve a purpose. And clichés; that’s the first thing I do when I’m editing, try to find clichés. If I’m not using them in an original way then I won’t use them at all.”

How Take it Easy was written…

Eric Church on songwriting

Bruce Springsteen on songwriting

Quote: John Prine on Songwriting

“I guess I always loved to write, but I never had anything to really encourage it. I never thought I could be a journalist or novelist or anything, I just had a wild imagination and songwriting gave me enough rope to run with it.”

–John Prine