When people hire me for hymn or Primary Song critiques, here are some of the things we discuss:

  • Does your hymn or primary song elicit a strong emotion from the singer/listener? This is the goal of all hymns. Does your hymn focus on delivering a strong gospel message through music that will 'affect' the listener and singer strongly?
  • Is the melody of your hymn or primary song easy to sing and remember? Will a typical congregation be able to grasp your melody on a first listen? Are there too many odd leaps that will confuse the congregation? Does your melody have a satisfying climax?
  • Can the harmonic language be easily understood and affect an emotion without being jarring to the ear? Does your harmony appropriately support the melody you've composed? Are you using proper voice-leading techniques? Is your hymn riddled with parallel 5th or octaves? 
  • Does your hymn or primary song text represent a clear doctrinal message? Have you focused your hymn on a specific doctrine? Is this a doctrinal gap in the current hymnal?

Do It Yourself, or get some professional help?

I've given you a basic roadmap for critiquing your own original hymn or primary song.

You can get even more free guidance from me by downloading my Free Report: "9 Ingredients of Great Hymn Writing."

But is that enough? Can you really be sure you've caught any errors before you submit? 

You have to make a decision. Do you want to continue working on this by yourself with the knowledge you have? Or, would you like to get another pair of eyes and ears on your hymn? Do you want to get some constructive criticism from an experienced University Professor of harmony and composition, someone who's composed many successful hymns?

If so, you've come to the right place.

Apply for a Hymn Critique:

I ask that you fill out a short form letting me know about you, about your experience, etc. Tell me about your hymn. Tell me if there's something specific you're struggling with in writing your hymn or primary song.

“In Douglas Pew, we have a fresh new voice in contemporary sacred music. His superb work is in the writing of hymns and choruses is filled with sensitivity and beauty, always complementing the spirit of the text.”
— Dr. Craig Jessop, Former Director of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir
“Doug’s hymn writing features fresh, imminently singable melodies to beautiful devotion texts. They expand our notion of what a hymn can be while maintaining a connection to the hymnody of the past. I can’t think of a better way to enliven congregational singing than to sing Doug’s music.”
— Dr. Carlton Monroe, Music Director, St. Thomas Episcopal Church
“The hymn writing of Douglas Pew shows a great attention to the text and the way in which music declares the power and meaning of those words. Melodies are tuneful and accessible while at the same time displaying a strongly crafted musical style.”
— Dr. Jonathan Giblin, Music Director, Fairfax United Methodist Church
“The caliber of Douglas Pew’s hymn writing is remarkable. He possesses an exceptional ability to match the affect of the music with the text. He combines expert part-writing with singable melodies that possess all of the attributes of a hymn of the highest quality. Doug’s intentionality and skill allow him to communicate the messages of the gospel of Jesus Christ through the medium of the hymn in a most powerful yet humble manner. They are musical gems yet not complicated or difficult to sing or understand. His hymn writings are tremendously needed additions to church music today.”
— Jason Gunnell, Associate Director of Music and Organist, St. Thomas Episcopal Church