David Bowie - The Next Day

How a Creative Chord Progression Can Make a Song More Meaningful

Of all the various elements that go together to make a song, a chord progression can get away with being less than imaginative. Your melody and lyric both need to be new and interesting, or else you haven’t written an original song. But the chords might be as mundane as a standard I-IV-V-I type of […]

Song Melody

The Power of a Great Song Melody

Robin Gibb once said that a great song is all about a great melody. It really depends on the genre, but most of the time I think he’s right. When you’ve hooked a listener with a good melody, you’ve given them something to hum — something to remember. A great melody is a powerful way […]

Rush - Freewill

Freewill: When Melody Lines are Bass Lines

Most of the time the bass in a band plays the root of the chord of the moment. In most genres, it is stylistically desirable for the bass to occasionally fill in the spots between strong beats with other notes, and we’re inclined to rate a bassist’s abilities based on how inventive/supportive these between-the-beats figurations […]

guitarist - songwriter

Getting a Weird Chord Progression Working: 2 Methods

Most songs in the pop genres use simple chord progressions. “Simple” means that they target the tonic chord — the chord that represents the song’s key — and make that tonic chord sound like “home.” These sorts of progressions: C-F-G7-C (I-IV-V7-I) C-Am-Dm-G-C (I-vi-ii-V-I) C-Dm-G-C (I-ii-V-I) These are all in the key of C major, and […]

Bass player

The Best Way to Use Pedal Point in Your Chord Progressions

Songwriters can be forgiven for looking for new and exciting chord progressions. There’s a fear that if you use a progression that’s been used before, it will sound either boring or overused, and lacking in originality. The truth is that as long as the chords are properly supporting the notes of the melody, even mundane […]

Adele

An Idea For Songs That Use the Same Chord Progression For Verse and Chorus

Songs that use the same progression for the verse and chorus aren’t unusual, but when you write that kind of song you need to think about other ways to create contrast between verse and chorus. Most songs need that contrast, because it’s contrast that keeps audiences interested on a musical level. And chords often play […]