Stevie Wonder in a Recording Session

Why We Like Songwriting Formulas

It’s probably a product of the age in which we live, but once we’ve invented or created an item, our mind moves quickly to how we can mass produce that item for maximum profit. Songwriting isn’t much different, and that’s probably why songwriters talk a lot about formulas. In songwriting, a formula is a system or procedure […]

Lady Antebellum

Why a Good Chorus Usually Surpasses a Good Verse in Importance

Most songs, if they are one of several possible verse-chorus formats, usually start with a verse, and before the 1-minute mark will move on to the chorus. The timing involved with this — i.e., the fact that we usually hear the chorus at or before the 1-minute mark, as you hear in a song like […]

When You Can’t Tell If You’re Hearing a Verse, a Chorus, or Something Else

Constructing songs so that we hear verses, choruses, bridges, and so on, is a good and easy way to ensure that your music incorporates contrast. Even before hearing a particular song, we know that the chorus is likely to be higher in pitch, that the chorus chords will probably be stronger and shorter than the verse, […]

Gary Ewer - 5 Reasons To Include a Bridge In a Song's Design

New Songwriting Video: 5 Reasons To Include a Bridge In a Song’s Design

I’ve just published a new songwriting video today, “5 Reasons to Include a Bridge in a Song’s Design“. It’s based on posts I’ve done in the past on this blog about the bridge section, and looks at five situations that arise in a song that can be dealt with by including a bridge. In truth, […]

Song form - the Bridge

How a Bridge Can Be Your Song’s Most Creative Part

One of the most important principles of songwriting (and in fact, the most important part of musical composition whether writing songs or symphonies) is the notion that all elements of a song partner well together. In other words, the melodies, lyrics and chords all support each other, and all work together to reveal and enhance […]

Piano & Guitar

Song Sections, and the Chord Progressions That Make Them Work

It’s possible to do entire songs with the same progression from beginning to end. That used to be rare — I can think of America’s “A Horse With No Name” from 1972 – Em and D6add9 for verse, chorus and solo. And doubtless there must have been a disco hit or two that got built on one […]