Guitar and piano

Revoicing Your Chords to Find Better Melodies

Historically, music was all about melody, not chord progressions. In fact, if you go back in time a few hundred years, let’s say to the 1400s or 1500s, the concept of “harmony” was a bit different from what we have today. In those days, “harmony” was what happened when various melodies were played at the […]

chord progressions

My Guest Article at Songwriting.net: Chord Progressions

I was asked by the folks over at Songwriting.net to write an article for their website. They posted it yesterday, entitled “7 Ideas for Creating Chord Progressions.” I hope you’ll take a look. I’ve put a short excerpt below: There are basic principles about the way chords work that aren’t much affected by genre. What […]

Bass player

How a Bass Pedal Point Strengthens a Chord Progression

A bass pedal point refers to a situation where you keep the same note in the bass (or left hand of a keyboard instrument) regardless of the chords that are playing above it. Pedal point can make an otherwise boring progression sound much more interesting because when the bass stays the same it will clash […]

Keyboard player - songwriter - chord inversions

Back and Forth Between Major and Minor Within the Same Chord Progression

Contrast is a big part of what makes great songs great. Even if that contrast is something as simple as loud versus soft (instrumentation) or low versus high (melodies), contrast is crucial to keeping audiences interested. Within chord progressions, contrast usually happens when differentiating between major and minor. Songs might feature a minor verse, and […]

Chord Progression Formulas

The Benefit of a Good Chord Progression Formula

Songwriting formulas are usually spoken of in a negative way. That’s because inherent in the term “formula” is the notion that if you do certain things, you’ll get a predictable result. And if you’re like most songwriters, “predictable” is not what you’re after. There are many kinds of formulas that are used in songwriting. Some […]

Folk Singer - Songwriter

Identifying Your Current Songwriting Strengths

Do you ever go through periods of time when lyrics just seem to suddenly come easily to you? Or perhaps it’s creating melodies, where you used to find melodies difficult. Every once in a while you’ll find that to be the case: you’ll suddenly go through a very creative time. You might wonder what to […]