Fleetwood Mac - Don't Stop

Song Melodies: Thinking About Your Starting Note

Because good songwriting usually starts with improvising ideas based on your instincts, you may not have given much thought to what note your tunes start on. The chord you choose, in most circumstances anyway, limits your choices to 3 notes: the root, the 3rd or the 5th. Understandably, there’s no rule that governs what the […]

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 […]

Drake - Controlla

Deciding Where in a Song a Chord Progression Belongs

It’s quite possible to use a single chord progression in every section of your song, such as you might hear in “Controlla” (Drake et al). But if you do choose to use the same progression throughout a song without changing it, it’s the kind of progression that needs to sound tonally strong. A strong progression simply […]

What Do We Mean When We Say That a Chord Progression “Works”

I’ve written a fair bit about chord progressions lately, because it’s the most popular topic on my blog. When I take a look at the stats, it’s normal to see that 8 out of the 10 most popular posts deal with some aspect of chords. Recently I received an email from someone who asked me […]

The Dolls - A Lover's Concerto

7 Quick Tips for Adding Chords to a Melody

If you like to start your songwriting process by working out bits of melody first, one of your biggest challenges might be the adding of chords. How do you work out a chord progression that supports your melody? It’s a bit amazing, when you think about it, that melodies can be so different, but chord […]

7 Things You May Not Know About Chord Progressions

Do you find that getting chords to sound right is the hardest part of getting a song working? Chord theory is a topic that takes considerable study to understand it thoroughly, so let’s look at it from a different angle. Here are 7 things about chord progressions that many songwriters don’t know. It may help you […]