Sarah McLachlan

Song Analysis: “Adia” – Sarah McLachlan

“Adia” (Pierre Marchand, Sarah McLachlan) is one of Sarah McLachlan’s most successful singles, her first top 5 on the Billboard Hot 100 back in 1998. From a musical point of view it’s probably most notable for its beautiful melody and creative chord progression, and well worth a quick study. MELODY The melody (in C minor/Eb […]

Bruce Springsteen

The Importance of Balancing Section Lengths Within a Song

You’ll hear experienced songwriters and producers say that the chorus of a song should arrive before the 1-minute mark. This is particularly true of songs with moderate to quicker tempos. Slower ballads can tolerate longer verses, and so it might take a bit longer. That guideline is in place because producers like to ensure that […]

Keyboard Player - Songwriter

The Songwriter’s Golden Rule

Rules and songwriting don’t go together, in my opinion. I like to think in terms of guidelines and principles, because those don’t insist so strongly on being followed, at least not as much as rules do. And if we wrote everything to accommodate a rule, where would we find the possibility for creativity? People say that “rules are […]

Chord Progression Formulas: Good. Songwriting Formulas: Bad.

Download “The Essential Secrets of Songwriting” 6 e-book bundle and learn all you need to know about how great melodies work. A formula is simply a predictable procedure for writing music. In other words, you’re following a formula if you say, “Once I’ve done this, I need to do that…” For songwriters, there are two […]

4 Easy Ways to Power Up Your Songs

Written by Gary Ewer, Senior Instructor, Dalhousie University, from “The Essential Secrets of Songwriting” website. • Follow Gary on Twitter • Check out “The Essential Secrets of Songwriting” 6 e-book bundle ________________________________ When someone gets me to listen to their song to assess it, I always use that first listen to determine one thing: does the […]

What Your Song’s Bridge Needs to Do

Written by Gary Ewer, Senior Instructor, Dalhousie University, from “The Essential Secrets of Songwriting” website. • Follow Gary on Twitter • Good songs sell! Check out “The Essential Secrets of Songwriting” 6 e-book bundle – available now at a 50% savings! ________________________________ When I adjudicate performers at festivals, I love pointing out that good music is often more about […]