How to Use Chord Inversions (“Slash Chords”) – Plus 6 Examples

Every chord has contains at least 3 notes: C uses C-E-G; Dm uses D-F-A; Em uses E-G-B, and so on. Some chords contain more than 3. For example, G7 has the 3 notes that make up the “triad” part: G-B-D, and then a 7th on top, making it a 4-note chord: G-B-D-F. The root of a chord is the note represented by […]

Singer - Band Rehearsal

Here’s Why Your Song’s Pre-Chorus Isn’t Working

It’s easy to understand why a song uses verses and choruses. The chorus tells the listener the essence of the song. The verse explains the situation behind the emotions of the chorus. That part is usually pretty cut-&-dried. But there are other miscellaneous sections your songs might use. And a commonly-used section (also a commonly-misunderstood […]

Guitarist - Songwriter

6 Easy Steps For Melody-First Songwriting

When I write music, I like starting with melody first. But melody-first writing means also thinking about chords. That’s because the musical part of our brain is always assembling melody notes and coming up with chords. If you want to see how this works, click to listen to this melody: A simple enough melody. Play it […]

Starting a Song Bridge on a ii-Chord

A song’s bridge usually follows the second go-through of the chorus. And it’s a good opportunity for you temporarily to explore a new key area. That’s because by the time this part of the song happens, a listener’s musical brain is ready for something new. So a bridge will usually give you: a new melody; a new […]

Making Best Use of a “Fragile” Songwriting Idea

To describe a musical idea as “fragile” means that there is a certain measure of ambiguity. I like to use the term especially when describing chord progressions. A fragile progression is one in which any of the following are true: The chords do not strongly indicate the key. For example, moving back and forth from Am […]

Piano & Guitar

Using the iii-Chord (and All Its Alternate Spellings)

For any major or minor key, you can build a chord on top of each note of its scale. That gives you seven chords that naturally exist for every key. If you do that with C major, for example, you get the following chords: I: C ii: Dm iii: Em IV: F V: G vi: Am vii: […]