Songwriter - Pianist

Chords That Eventually Find the Tonic

In music, the tonic chord is the one that represents the key. So for a song in C major, C is the tonic. To use a metaphor, it’s home. Progressions may meander around seemingly aimlessly, but once you play the tonic chord, you sense relaxation: you’re home. Are you a chords-first songwriter? Are you getting […]

Guitar - songwriting talent

What Talents Do You Need To Be a Songwriter?

You might think that the answer to this question, “What talents do I need to be a songwriter?” would start with an examination of basic musical abilities: the ability to sing in tune, and of course to be creative. But I think the first step toward being a good songwriter is not a talent at […]

Songwriter - lyrics

Why Lyrics-First Songwriting Processes Are a Good Idea

A song is good if it makes an emotional impact on the listener. So whether you start the songwriting process by coming up with lyrics, chords or melodies, the end result needs to be the same: a piece of music that causes the audience to feel something. It’s why you’re more likely to find that […]

Use Your Words! Developing a Lyrics-First Songwriting Process

New eBook: “Use Your Words! Developing a Lyrics-First Songwriting Process”

I’m pleased to announce that I’ve just completed a new eBook for songwriters entitled “Use Your Words! Developing a Lyrics-First Songwriting Process.” It’s available right now at the online store as a free add-on to the 10-eBook Bundle. (It will also be available as a separate sale item in the coming days.) For a limited time, […]

Kris Kristofferson

The Power (and Danger) of Quick Changes Within Songs

There’s a concept in music that applies to chord progressions called harmonic rhythm. That term is used to describe how frequently (i.e., how quickly) chords change, especially in relation to how many notes of melody happen between changes. As you know, some songs use progressions where each chord is strummed for a relatively long time before […]

Joni Mitchell

Writing Song Melodies That Can Build a Fanbase

Do you get stuck at the melody-writing stage of songwriting? Do you find chords easy, but melody hard? What can you do to come up with melodies that are enticing and attractive to an audience? Melodies and lyrics are the trickiest parts of songwriting for most songwriters, because those are likely the parts of songs […]