Guitar chords - switching minor to major

Changing Key Without Actually Changing Key

If you’re looking for a way to make your chord progressions a bit more interesting, you’ll find that changing key is a good way to do it. You might, for example, have your verse in one key and your chorus in a different one. The most common way to do that is to use a […]

Songwriter

Imagining That Your Unfinished Song is Actually Already Finished

When every song you start seems to grind to a halt, and finishing it seems difficult or impossible, you’ve got the makings of writer’s block. Your musical imagination can help you through a creative block. But you’re likely thinking, “HOW can I use my musical imagination to help me, since it’s my lack of imagination […]

Singer-songwriter

Bypassing “Am I Allowed to” Questions and Writing Better Songs

I always say that it’s not rules that we consider in good songwriting, but principles, which serve as guidelines for us. Perhaps a sport can provide us with a good analogy here. When you watch an excellent tennis player, we’re not at all amazed by their following of the rules of the game. Tennis has […]

Eagles - Take It Easy

Creating Contrast With Chord Progressions in a Long Melody

Some songs, instead of using a clearcut verse and chorus structure, will instead be constructed of one long melody that has different sections. I’m thinking of a song like Eagles’ first single “Take It Easy”. If you like starting songs by working out chord progressions, you need this eBook: “Writing a Song From a Chord […]

Neil Diamond

Taking a Close Look at a Song’s Pre-Chorus

If you’re looking for a song that has what amounts to being a textbook definition of a pre-chorus, that song would be Neil Diamond’s “Sweet Caroline.” The pre-chorus section (“Hands, touchin’ hands/ Reachin’ out,/touchin’ me, touchin’ you”) moves step-by-step higher while the instrumentation builds, the vocal style becomes edgier, and everything gets louder. Those are […]