Tommaso Zillio

About Tommaso Zillio

I am a prog rock/metal guitarist, composer and teacher in Edmonton, AB, Canada. I have 18 years of playing experience, on and off stage, both solo and with a variety of bands. My last show to date had been a series of performances of the Rocky Horror Show with the Vi! Va! Voom!! entertainment company. In 2009 I released, together with other 13 artists, the compilation CD "Under the Same Sky", distributed worldwide in 10.000 copies.

I am a proud endorser of AMT electronics, the best distortion pedals on the planet.

Among my favorite musician and influences are: Dream Theater, Pink Floyd, Joe Satriani, Andy Timmons, Mike Oldfield, Jean-Michel Jarre, Deine Lakaien, Litfiba, Nightwish, Astor Piazzolla, Hans Zimmer.

I am a graduate of the Tom Hess's Music Career Mentoring Program and Elite Guitar Teachers Inner Circle.

Please, visit my website at

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How Real Songwriters Are Made

Do you think songwriting is some magical skill people are born with? Or do you think it is fostered through years of practice and hard work? Well, when its phrased that way, its pretty easy to see (hopefully) that it is indeed the latter. But if that is true, what exactly should you be working so hard on, and what exactly should you be practicing? I am going to reveal this to you today.

Popular media would like to have you think that good songwriters are born with a special gift. And a lot of people will believe this to be true for a couple reasons. One being that a lot of songwriters like to create this mysterious image about themselves. They would like it to seem as though their music comes to them effortlessly, rather than through countless sleepless nights.

Another reason is that every songwriter experiences challenges that they have to overcome in the beginning. But the thing is, not every person chooses to overcome those challenges. Instead they justify giving up by telling themselves "I guess I just wasn't born with that special gift." In actuality, all it takes is getting through those handful of bad days to start really seeing capable you are.

Since we now can agree that you have everything is takes to become a great songwriter, what should you do next? Well reading this article is a perfect place to start. It proves you are staying curious about your craft (which is good!), and that somewhere deep inside there is most likely a hit song just waiting to come out.

Now all we need to do is figure out how to find that hit song that is hiding deep inside.

Well that next step is not as far off as you may think. There is one very useful technique that will show noticeable improvements in your writing. And the more you practice this technique, the more effortless it will begin to feel.

While you may have heard people speak of this specific skill before, it is often used improperly. This can start to frustrate musicians and lead them to trash the whole idea together (which is very unfortunate!).

So what is this specific technique that I have been speaking of so highly? I tell you all about it in the video down below. Take the time to watch the video from beginning to end and to listen carefully, as this is useful and practical information that you can use in your songwriting for many years to come.

As you can now see, songwriting isn't quite as mysterious as some people would like you to believe. Anyone can practice this skill and improve upon their composing. Perhaps you have been doing this already without even realizing it. But now you can focus in on your practice, and have fun doing it too!

12 Feb 2017 18:42:59 @pauljones:
Awesome lesson Tomasso! Great advice as always; I agree completely with the importance of ear training in order to recognize what it's going on in your musical ideas (all of them potential songs). As you say in the video, they key is the active listening of different types of music, being able to isolate and transcribe instrument lines and chord progressions and determining the meter and rhytmic patterns. The Bachification exercise sounds really interesting, I will definitely try it!
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Savo Kostic
01 Mar 2017 13:07:13 @savo-kostic:
Once again, amazing tips Tomasso, I truly enjoy following your lessons. Dave Grohl once said that people are dancing with lyrics, not with music (according to catchy choruses), and by listening to your tips - I think that you just confirmed his statement. I like hard sounds as Slipknot, Metallica, Korn, but I think that I could never write a song like they do. Do you suggest that I have to start by writing some ballads or I should give it a try in their style? Thanks.
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