Sarah McLachlan

Song Analysis: “Adia” – Sarah McLachlan

“Adia” (Pierre Marchand, Sarah McLachlan) is one of Sarah McLachlan’s most successful singles, her first top 5 on the Billboard Hot 100 back in 1998. From a musical point of view it’s probably most notable for its beautiful melody and creative chord progression, and well worth a quick study. MELODY The melody (in C minor/Eb […]

Piano and guitar - chords

What To Do With a Song Chorus That Isn’t Working

Let’s say you’ve come up with a hook that you think should be something that works well as the main flag-waving part of your chorus. So then you set about to write a verse that leads into that chorus. But once that’s done, and you play the verse and chorus in sequence, you find that the […]

Guitar and music paper - Songwriting

How Contrast Works – How It Makes Songs More Interesting to Listen To

The following is an excerpt from the ebook manual, “The Essential Secrets of Songwriting, 4th Ed.” It’s an eBook that covers every aspect of how good songs work, with sound samples that let you hear the concepts at work so that you can apply them to your own songs. This excerpt, from “Chapter 3: Designing […]

Bruno Mars - The Lazy Song

Making the Best Use of Motifs in Your Songwriting

For most songwriters, defining a hook is simple: it’s that catchy bit that makes up the main part of the chorus. It usually comes back over and over because that’s what choruses do — they reappear after every verse, and then again after the bridge. A hook is good if it has a melodic shape […]

Songwriter in Home Studio

Songwriting, and Making More Efficient Use of Your Time

Got a melody but can’t figure out how to add chords to it? You need to read “How to Harmonize a Melody.” Complete with sound samples to guide you. Get it separately, or as part of “The Essential Secrets of Songwriting 10-eBook Bundle” Recently I wrote a blog post about organizing your songwriting sessions. In […]

Writing About What You Don’t Know

You’ll hear people say that there’s a kind of honesty in songwriting that comes from writing about the things that you know and have experienced. When you write about things you don’t know, they say, there’s an insincerity problem that you need to overcome. I’m not sure I believe that. I like to take a […]