Songwriter - Pianist

The Hummable Melody

I have a theory as to why so many songwriters like to start with chords: it’s because chords give you: a mood; a musical landscape; the start of a musical form. In very short order, you can easily come up with 8 bars of music when you’ve got 3 chords, even if you don’t have […]

Piano

Creating Melodies When You Use the Chords-First Method

One of the biggest drawbacks to starting your songs by working out a chord progression is that melodies can get a bit neglected. Historically, composers in the Classical realm rarely if ever started compositions with just chords. They’d practically always start with something hummable (a melody), or something otherwise memorable (the lyrics, perhaps). And since […]

Tips for Developing a Melody-First Songwriting Process

Starting the songwriting process by working out chords makes a certain amount of sense, mainly for the reason that chords can provide a strong sense of mood. The theory is that if you can get some good chords working, and then pair them up with a rhythmic groove, you’ve got the makings of the feel […]

Band rehearsal

Creating Chord Progressions: Speeding Up the Process

Using a chords-first songwriting method usually means starting out by improvising on chords until something interesting pops into your mind. But one of the drawbacks to this process is that you can waste a lot of time simply trying to find chords that work well together. I’ve placed two charts below, one for major keys and […]

Which Methods for Starting a New Song?

Songwriters are correct to think a lot about how to start the songwriting process. How you start often has a strong influence on where things end up. But songwriters typically worry, not so much that they’re starting the wrong way, but more that they’re possibly missing out on a better way. You need to look […]

Writing a Chords-First Song: Creating Layers

Written by Gary Ewer, author of “The Essential Secrets of Songwriting” 6-ebook Bundle. _______________ Many songwriters like the chords-first approach to songwriting. That’s mainly because the chords do such a good job of establishing a mood, and for many, getting the mood right is an important first step. No matter how you start, songwriting usually becomes […]