Which Should Come First – Chords or Melody?

It’s probably true that more songwriters come up with a chord progression, in whole or in part, before they come up with the melody that goes along with it. These “chords first” people would probably say that they find it hard or impossible to come up with a good melody unless they’re hearing the chords underneath. […]

Rihanna's "Disturbia" – Why It Works

One of the points that I make over and over again to songwriters is that you really need to listen to the music of successful songwriters if you want to be successful. It’s not enough to hide yourself musically from what’s going on the comercial music world if you want to be part of that […]

Anthem Contest for "Hockey Night in Canada" Closes to Entries on Aug. 31

The CBC has been running a contest to choose new theme music for their “Hockey Night in Canada” television broadcast. To great national criticism, they lost the rights to continue using the famous theme composed by Dorothy Claman that had been in use since the 1960s. To replace this iconic anthem, the CBC has been […]

The Role of Music Theory in Songwriting

From “The Essential Secrets of Songwriting” website:   Most of you know that I have had an internet presence on the web for years as the author of “Gary Ewer’s Easy Music Theory.” And you know that I am a big fan of any and all musicians learning some basic music theory. But maybe not for the reasons that you […]

If Your Song Lacks Excitement, Here's What to Do

From “The Essential Secrets of Songwriting” website:   If you find that some aspect of your new song bores you, don’t toss it out. The solution may be easier than you think. Take a look at these tips and see if one of them does the trick: 1- Take another look at the basic rhythm of […]

Breathe Life Into Your Chord Progressions – With Pedal Tones

A bad chord progression can kill a song, but don’t assume that a good chord progression must grab your attention. Many of the best songs in the world use very basic chords which, by themselves, are probably a bit boring. That’s because a chord progression must work with your melody and lyrics without pulling focus. […]