"A hit song is actually somewhat formulaic—the repetitiveness, the rousing section that leads us to that ever-so-hooky thing that we call a chorus—those things seem to happen over and over in hit songs, whether we like to admit it or not. It's not necessarily a good song from a musical standpoint, one that uses The Chord That Stops The Planet From Rotating On Its Axis; it's not that at all. I think one of the most difficult things to give students a grasp of is an idea of the dire simplicity of most of the music in a song."
"I'll pick examples right off a current radio station to bring into a songwriting class. I'll say, 'This song is number two in the country, folks, whether you like it or not. Let's listen to it and see what we think is making it number two. Let's talk about it aesthetically, lyrically, musically—whatever we can do to break this thing down, to ask ourselves the question, 'Why didn't I write that?'"