Ed Sheeran

The Proper Progression of Song Lyrics: A Checklist

Take a look at pop song lyrics, and you’ll see everything from straight-ahead, easy-to-follow, to something more abstract. The easy-to-follow lyrics might be something like “Thinking Out Loud” (Ed Sheeran, Amy Wadge, Julian Williams): When your legs don’t work like they used to before And I can’t sweep you off of your feet Will your […]

Songwriting Creativity is a Two-Step Process

I read a quote recently by Paul McCartney (I believe it might have been Philip Norman’s book “Paul McCartney: The Life”) in which he said that he didn’t know how to write songs, he only knew how to finish them. That quote shows great insight. I’ve made it a large part of my life to […]

Maroon 5

Smoothing Out the Connections Between Song Sections

In good songs, there is a sense of connection — or perhaps communication, in a way — between its various sections. You hear the chorus, and it sounds like the logical follower for what the verse offered. So how do we ensure that each section of a song feels connected to what came before it? […]

Bruno Mars - Mark Ronson

Key Suggestions for Song Sections

You know that there are many songs where verses and choruses are in different keys. When it comes to questions about chord progressions that I receive, the most common kinds of questions relate to that issue: how to get from one key to another in a typical song. It’s not unusual for a song to […]

Checking the Resting Points in a Verse Melody

By “resting point”, I’m talking about spots in a melody, usually the end of a musical phrase, where the note is usually longer than the ones that precede it. In music theory terminology, a resting point is synonymous with the cadence. “The Essential Secrets of Songwriting” eBook bundle gives you lots of help when it comes to writing […]

Andy Grammar

The Repeatable Quality of Great Chorus Hooks

In the pop music genres, a great chorus is a self-contained unit. It doesn’t need a verse in order to work, musically speaking; it will work on its own. That’s certainly not to say that a chorus is all you need, or that a verse serves no useful purpose. In most songs, if all you […]