Eric Clapton

With Good Songwriting, Everything Progresses

Talk about progressions to musicians, and they automatically make the assumption that you’re talking about chords. Of course, that makes sense. The chords in a song aren’t just randomly selected; each chord within a sequence needs to make a kind of musical sense, and that’s in fact why we use the word progression. But in fact, […]

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 […]

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 […]

Recording Studio

Writing For the Market, Or Writing For You

The free deal continues. Get a copy of “Creative Chord Progressions” free of charge when you buy “The Essential Secrets of Songwriting” eBook bundle. Eleven songwriting eBooks that cover every aspect of composing music. Take your songwriting to a new level of excellence. No one can blame a songwriter for wanting to write and perform songs that grab the […]

Creating a Hierarchy of Songwriting Elements: What’s Most Important?

For every song you ever hear, it’s possible to compile a short list of elements that go together that make the song. For most, that list will include lyrics, melody, chords, rhythm (groove), instrumentation, and so on. Because every song is a musical journey, and every journey must be to some degree unique, the priority a […]

Keyboard & Guitar

Avoiding the Constant Return to the I-Chord

If you’re looking for ways to make your progressions a bit more interesting without being too weird, there’s a simple modification you should consider: simply avoid overusing the I-chord. In a standard I-IV-V-I progression (C-F-G-C) the I-chord is the tonic chord. It’s the one that represents your song’s key. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with its use, […]