Chord Progression Formulas

Rethinking Your First Songwriting Ideas

In the songwriting world — and I wonder if this is the same in all of the creative arts? — we place more value on songs that pop spontaneously into our minds than we do on songs that we had to work for weeks to get right. In other words, if you compare two of […]

Music of the future

The Songs of the Future — What Will They Sound Like?

I had a professor once who, while commenting on what the music of the future would sound like, said, “Well, if we knew that, we’d be writing it now.” That’s very likely not true. What’s more likely is something like that scene from “Back to the Future”, when Marty plays “Johnny B. Goode”, which morphs into […]

Tony Orlando and Dawn

What Can Kill a Song’s Staying Power?

Some songs are still with us fifty or more years after they hit the top of the charts (Smokey Robinson’s “The Tears of a Clown“, for example), but other songs, even ones that were big hits when they came out, are rarely heard anymore, not because they aren’t good, but… well, it’s hard to say […]

Songwriting

Is Your Verse Doing What It’s Supposed to Be Doing?

There is a lot of attention paid to song choruses, and for good reason. A chorus is where the catchy bit is either going to do its job and pull in an audience, or it’s not. So there’s a lot riding on the success of a chorus. If you’re ready to take your songwriting to […]

Songwriter - Synth

Why Chord Progression Formulas Usually Make Songs Better

In songwriting, a formula amounts to a set of steps that are predictable “responses” to whatever has just happened. And in general, they’re not necessarily desirable. What’s so undesirable about formulas? It comes down to this: most of your listeners like to hear musical ideas that are generated in a spontaneous sort of way, and […]

Songwriter

No One Cares How Long It Takes to Write a Song If It’s a Good One

Look around you. You can probably see lots of things that you’ve purchased. Some are inexpensive, like pencils, your comb, and your lamp. Other things represent the most money you’ve ever spent, and depending on your stage of life, that could be your smartphone, your car, or your house. For everything that you own that […]