Guitarist - songwriter on stage

Avoid These 5 Chord Progression Mistakes In Your Songwriting

Knowing why some chord progressions your’e coming up with sound good while others just don’t work at all is an entire area of study in music schools. For many of you, though, a good chord progression is something you can come up with by improvising and by borrowing ideas from other existing progressions. In this blog […]

Guitar - Songwriting

Determining the Key of Weird Chord Progressions

Take a look at the following two progressions. The first one comes from the verse of John Legend’s “All of Me” (John Stephens, Toby Gad), and the second one comes from the verse of “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” (Elton John, Bernie Taupin): 1. All of Me: Fm  Db  Ab  Eb 2. Goodbye Yellow Brick Road: […]

Synth - chord progressions

Songwriting: Moving From Aeolian Mode to Major Key

Some songwriters have a natural aversion to music theory. That dislike usually goes hand-in-hand with the mistaken belief that the purpose of music theory is to tell you what you should or shouldn’t be writing. That’s never been the purpose or power of music theory. Rather, theory gives you an understanding of the structure and […]

Piano and Guitar

5 Verse-Chorus Chord Progression Pairs

A verse-chorus chord progression pair refers to two progressions that move seamlessly one to the other, where one has those characteristics of a good verse progression and the other acts as a good chorus one. Before giving examples of these types of pairs, keep in mind that the easiest way is to create one progression that will […]

Keyboard player - songwriter - chord inversions

Everything You Need to Know About “Slash Chords” (Inversions)

When you play through chord progressions for songs you know, you’ll occasionally come across ones that involve a slash: F/A, C/G, Dm7/F, etc. These kinds of chords are called inversions, known colloquially as “slash chords” because of that slash. As you probably know, the letter name before the slash is the actual chord that you should […]

Piano

Creating Melodies When You Use the Chords-First Method

One of the biggest drawbacks to starting your songs by working out a chord progression is that melodies can get a bit neglected. Historically, composers in the Classical realm rarely if ever started compositions with just chords. They’d practically always start with something hummable (a melody), or something otherwise memorable (the lyrics, perhaps). And since […]