Crafting Song


I would like to discuss my technique for writing quality songs that will stand out against the clutter that currently exists. I have a unique method that has allowed me to write nearly 100 songs in my 6 years of writing and earn the title of Portland’s Songwriter of the Year. Simply, I would like to tell my methods, discuss the dos and don’ts of songwriting, avoiding the cliche, pursuing the awkwardness, owning the craft, producing unique ideas, making it your own and knowing when a song doesn’t want to be written.

Tyler Stenson


I was born in Lander, WY before moving to West Linn, OR when I was 7. I’m from a family of 10 children and the son of an architect- my mother sings. All my life, my parents have taught me to create and pay attention to detail. I spent most of my life figuring out how to glorify this combination and I believe I’ve found it in music.

I started playing music six years ago just before I headed off to college. A few towns later I found myself becoming a Journalism major and graduating from the University of Oregon in 2005. Those were years spent crafting music and growing as an artist. In turn, I was recently awarded the Portland Songwriters Association 2006 Songwriter of the Year and my band Lander just released an album called orange chrome sky. Where I have been and how I was raised has made me the writer I am and pushes me forward.

I’ve always lived by the phrase “3 chords and the truth.” My songs are simple and true and I consider them the epic, gradient stories of my life.