Neil Young

Borrowing Ideas From Other Writers’ Songs

John Lennon tells the story that Yoko was playing Moonlight Sonata on the piano and he asked her to play the chords backwards. From that reversed performance he composed his song “Because”, from The Beatles’ “Abbey Road” album. I’ve listened to Moonlight Sonata many times, including listening to it backwards (on YouTube you can find […]

guitar - songwriting

Getting Creative With Chord Progression Charts

Consulting a list of chord progressions can be a great thing for songwriters who just want to explore new sounds and find new directions for their music. And since chord progressions usually can’t be protected by copyright, you’re free to take them and use them however you want. (See my collections here.) But if all […]

Keyboard player - songwriter - chord inversions

Ideas for Experimenting With a Chord Progression

Do you find that your fingers keep moving to the same chord progressions every time you sit down to improvise ideas for your next song? One of the easiest ways of dealing with this is to use a collection of chord progressions and start playing through them. (Check out the collections in my eBook Bundle […]

Keyboard - Chord Progressions

Working Backwards to Create Better Chord Progressions

Chord progressions offer an important sense of direction. It’s why they’re called progressions and not successions. And of course, most elements within a song come with a similarly important sense of direction. Melodies and lyrics typically work in a forward direction, but when performed backwards, they don’t usually work at all. “Chord Progression Formulas” shows you how […]

MAGIC!

Good Melodies Start By Imagining a Short, Catchy Fragment

Every composer of music approaches the task differently, and values the many different components of music differently. For me, melody is a key ingredient. I always feel that if I can get a melody working first, I have a better chance of getting everything else coming together quicker. “The Essential Secrets of Songwriting” eBook bundle comes with […]

Synthesizer-Keyboard player

Progressions in Opposite Directions Make Great Verse-Chorus Partners

Most chord progressions work best in the forward direction, and the longer a progression is, the truer that statement is. For shorter progressions, you’ll still often find that a progression sounds best when played beginning to end, but you’ll notice that playing them backwards isn’t a total wash-out. For example: C  Am  F  G  C […]