Sting - Every Breath You Take

After Verse and Chorus Chords, What To Do About the Bridge?

Most pop songs, and all the related genres such as folk, country, etc., use simple, strong chord progressions. In fact, when you go back and look at complex prog rock tunes from the early to mid-seventies, you might be surprised to see that chord choice is not nearly as adventurous as you might think. Complex […]

The Who

5 Options for Shortening a Song That’s Too Long

I get songs sent to me now and again, for me to give my thoughts on improving them. (If you’re having a problem with something you’re writing and would like my input, I’ll direct you to this post. It will let you know how to go about that.) Here’s an interesting fact about the songs […]

Momentum and Musical Energy: What the Pre-Chorus Does For a Song

There’s a quick answer to why you’d ever use a pre-chorus in your song: by the time you get to the end of the verse, it feels too soon for the chorus. A pre-chorus is that little optional section that sits in between the verse and chorus. Choruses tend to be more energetic than verses, and […]

Songwriter

5 Innovative Ways to Change Up Your Songwriting Process

One of the main reasons songwriters get stuck in a creative rut is an overused songwriting process. If you find that you’re always approaching songwriting the same old way, and using the same structural design and chords over and over again, just changing how you approach writing can quickly break you out of a creative […]

Piano - Songwriter

Can Songs Be Too Short?

Over the past number of years, I’ve worked with songwriters mostly via email and/or Skype. Every songwriter has their issues, the problems they’re trying to solve. If I were to make a list of every problem songwriters are dealing with, a song that’s too short wouldn’t be on it. Let me qualify that. There are lots of […]

R.E.M. Losing My Religion

Songs Without a Chorus, and How They Work

I’ve always liked R.E.M.’s “Losing My Religion,” but there’s something odd about it. Because most of its melodies and melodic fragments dwell on the 3 notes A-B-C, in the key of A minor, it sounds very much like a drone. Normally, that just doesn’t work all that well for a song; you normally want to hear […]