Join us for our 2nd Annual Songwriting Challenge!

We invite our listeners to join us for our latest songwriting challenge. This year, we’re challenging ourselves to:

write a song where the chord progression never changes.

Neel, Mike, and Phil will each write a song for the challenge, and we’ll share our answers on the January 26, 2021 episode. Replies from our listeners will be shared on the February 16 episode.

So please send us your answer to the songwriting challenge. Send your mp3 and your lyrics to by February 9, and we’ll feature your song on February 16.

Be sure to check out our special theme episode on, you guessed it, songs where the chord progression never changes! Good luck!

Fresh Content

Show date:  Nov. 29, 2020

Neel, Phil, Mike, and Melanie

BBC Radio has called Melanie, “Mary Poppins with a broken heart” and that is just part of her appeal. Besides her beautiful voice, Melanie is a terrific songwriter with lots of great songs to prove it. Her tune “Christmas Breaks My Heart” was a finalist in the Great American Songwriting Contest. And now Melanie has a new 6-song EP out “We Got This” released in late November 2020. She dropped by the SongTalk Radio (virtual) studio to play us her favourite from the bunch and let us in on how she creates.

We talked with Melanie about:

  • the benefit of collaborating with other artists and the joy of working solo
  • changing her songwriting process
  • the inspiration for the songs on her new EP
  • how she makes livestreams work
  • the concept of “writing with intention”

Find more Melanie Peterson here:

Show date:  Nov. 22, 2020

Singer-songwriter and Jitters frontman Blair Packham joined us for our latest annual Holiday Gift Guide. We talked about gift suggestions in every price range. Happy shopping for the musician in your life, for yourself, or for your favourite songwriting podcast host (hint: that’s Neel).

Thanks to our listeners Don Thomspon, Lorenzo D. Policelli, and Matt Oshin for their suggestions.

Stocking Stuffers: Gifts under $15

Small gifts: $15 to $100

Good Gifts: $100 to $300

WOW! Gifts – $300 or more

(the, gee if I only had a super-generous someone who had money to burn gifts)

Show date:  Nov. 19, 2020

Songwriting tips podcast

We talk about the songwriting do’s and don’ts as well as:

  • The 2nd Annual Songwriting Challenge
  • The Annual Holiday Gift Guide
  • Songwriting Dos and Don’ts on Discmakers
  • DO: Write a cool opening line
  • DON’T: Make your chorus melody too much like your verse melody
  • DO: Write interesting titles
  • DON’T: Be afraid to rewrite
  • DO: Polish your chorus
  • DO: Simplify

Show date:  Nov. 09, 2020

Mike, Neel, Phil, and Dokter Nomi

This week SongTalk welcomed Doktor Nomi to our studio.

Admittedly Nomi is not a real doctor but he does have a unique and interesting way of creating music. As a topliner and lyricist, Nomi frequently works with other collaborators to create his music. Most recently, he and SongTalk’s own Neel Modi have been working together and Doktor Nomi brought one of those new songs for us to hear.

We talked with Nomi about:

  • how other artists’ songs provide an starting point for his music
  • why having a set lyric-writing style can be productive
  • how to communicate your ideas to instrumentalists

Lyrics for Nomi’s song, “Liar”

Check out Neel’s blog for his process behind this collaboration.

Show date:  Nov. 01, 2020

Phil, Kaleb, Mike, and Neel

This week we welcomed The Sun Harmonic (aka Kaleb Hikele) back to the show to share his latest single A Dream I’ve Had with us. Kaleb was challenged to write, record, and release a song in 48 hours, and he totally did it!

We talked about:

  • Our latest songwriting challenge and how our listeners are invited to join in
  • Using parallel modulation to bring interest and surprise to your chord progression
  • Including an instrumental bridge in your song with a different rhythm
  • Writing lyrics clear in their meaning but also open to different interpretations

Download the lyrics for A Dream I’ve Had to follow along.