Quick Tip: Using Open Strings

Wednesday, June 24, 2015 by Jake Hahn | Blog

ALL open strings work in conjunction with these 3 keys.

C Major/A minor

G Major/E minor

D Major/B minor

No matter where you are on the fretboard - whether you're playing single notes or fretting chords - try incorporating some open strings to liven up your sound.

[video demonstration coming soon]

Below (fig #4) is an example of a lick that utilizes open strings.


5 Ways To Write A Stronger Lyric

Monday, June 15, 2015 by Jake Hahn | Blog

Writing lyrics can be tough. It's easy to get stuck "in-your-head". It can also be tough to critique your own song, because, I mean...YOU wrote it, right? Of course that's what you meant to say! If not - you wouldn't have written it in the first place! Right??

Well...not so fast.

If you're anything like all the other humans out there in the world, you make sense of things through your emotions. The issue is that emotions are very internal. YOU feel how you feel, but the listener doesn't! So your job as a songwriter is to COMMUNICATE your internal feelings to a listener!

I've listed 5 ways to check your lyrics as you write them. They're also very beneficial for checking a "finished" lyric as well. Go through one of your songs now; and see if you can strengthen it by writing another draft using these 5 points!


1. Identify Potentially Weak Lines: • try to strengthen them by adding an image - or a comparison to SHOW the listener what you mean.

2. Check Your Rhymes: • Keep rhymes conversational. • Try not to draw attention to them. • Preserve the natural word order of speech.

3. Answer The Listeners Questions: • Eliminate unclear references.

4. Say What You Mean: • Be conversational • Use some direct statements • This adds believability to your song

5. Develop Your Story: • Don't use information from Verse 1 in Verse 2...the listener has already been there. • move your story forward. • Zoom into your story • Zoom out • Give each section its own identity within your overall theme.


Your friend & coach


It's All In How YOU See It.

Monday, June 8, 2015 by Jake Hahn | Blog

It's simple. If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at will change.

I'm all about taking seemingly simple or typical things and working to craft them in interesting ways.

There seems to be a tendency in a lot of people to write-off simplicity. As if in order to make something really creative and cool, they have to use complex ideas.

In my opinion - this is a mistake.

Simple ideas - seen from a creative standpoint - are usually what lead to profound works of art.

Let's put this into action real quick by writing a song.

Try this.


VERSE: (use this progression)
||: D D E A :||

CHORUS: (use this progression)
||: F#m F#m E E :||

YOUR LAYOUT: - (V = Verse & C = Chorus)

Creative Perspective #1

Play this structure with "open position chords" at 75bpm. Use a basic strum pattern here. Whatever you'd like.

example: VIDEO 1 click HERE

Creative Perspective #2:

Play through the structure again, but place a capo at the second fret. This will change the voicing's but the chords will stay the same. Play it again at around 75bpm with whatever rhythm you choose, but pay close attention to how you perceive it differently than concept #1.

example: VIDEO 2 click HERE

The only thing that has changed is the chord voicing's. Different voicing's tend to cause you to change the way you think about what you're playing. This ultimately leads you to new sounds and new possibilities for the SAME EXACT chord movements.

Same information. New perspective.

New territory = New vision.

There are literally countless ways to approach basically everything. The cool stuff comes from YOU.

We're all using the same stuff. All dipping from the same well.

Show us how YOU hear a song!


If you change the way YOU look at things, the things you look at will change.

Your friend and coach
- Jake