Paul McCartney - John Lennon

The Differences Between Lennon’s and McCartney’s Melodies

Generalizing any aspect of a songwriter’s output is straying into dangerous territory. That’s particularly true of the music of Lennon and McCartney. They were arguably the most versatile writers of pop song of their generation, and probably even now. As soon as they wrote a hit, it was back to the drawing board to come […]

Paul McCartney

When the Verse Melody Becomes the Bridge

Here’s something interesting: the melody that Paul McCartney uses as his verse melody for “You Never Give Me Your Money” (“Abbey Road” album) serves, for all intents and purposes, as a bridge melody for “Carry That Weight.” True, the fact is that its appearance as a bridge melody is overshadowed by the fact that its main […]

Songwriter-Guitarist tuning

Deciding If Your Song Needs a Bridge (Middle-8)

A bridge is the section of a song that typically comes after the second chorus in verse-chorus songs. In verse-only songs, like “I Should Have Known Better” (Lennon & McCartney), the bridge will usually come after the second verse. For many songwriters, the question of whether or not to use a bridge (or any other […]

Piano and guitar - mixolydian mode

What is a Fragile Chord Progression?

If you’ve got a melody, but don’t know how to add chords to it, you need to read “How to Harmonize a Melody.” It will show you, with sound samples, a clear step-by-step for adding chords that will make your melody sound great. In most pop songs, the chord progressions you’ll find yourself using will […]

The Beatles

Songwriting: How to Avoid Moving In a Bad Direction

If you look at the description of Lennon & McCartney’s “I Saw Her Standing There” in the Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Songs of All Time list, you’ll read this: This song had been written by McCartney two years earlier. After penning the first line  – “She was just 17” – McCartney wanted to avoid completing […]

The Beatles

Why a Songwriting Process That Starts By Working Out a Hook Makes Sense

Most works of art, whether you’re talking about songwriting, poetry, the painting of a landscape, or anything else, really, are comprised of some element that acts as a focus, and then many surrounding, supporting elements. For example, you might photograph a landscape that features a beautiful pine tree as the main element — the object that immediately […]