Simon & Garfunkel

Writing a Rock Anthem – The Important Characteristics

It’s hard to define what a rock anthem is. It’s the sort of song form that you recognize when you hear it, though. The most important quality of an anthem is probably universality: the notion that everyone could join in and sing the chorus together, and feel a sense of camaraderie and celebration for doing […]

songwriting frustration

Moving Beyond That One Good Song Idea

It’s a common problem for most songwriters at one time or another: you come up with something that’s really catchy, and sounds like the start of a killer song. But then… nothing. You just can’t seem to move beyond that catchy fragment of music. What can you do? On track to make songwriting a full-time […]

Derek and the Dominos

Using a Key Change as a Musical Surprise

In most songs, key changes happen for any one or more of the following reasons: It raises musical energy. The most typical example of this is the song that has a minor key verse, then switches to a major key chorus. That brightening of the key from minor to major increases musical momentum as it […]

Guitar - Songwriter

5 Tips For Using a Chords-First Songwriting Process

A chords-first songwriting process has a few challenges that need to be dealt with. One of the main problems is that there is a tendency to focus more on the chords than on the melody. That can lead to songs that don’t have enough of a tune to be memorable. “Hooks and Riffs: How They […]

guitar - keyboard - headphones

The Missing Step For Improving Your Songwriting: Training Your Ear

If you’re looking to become a better songwriter, don’t forget about improving your ear. Being able to identify chords, rhythms and melodies by ear is helpful in two major ways: It speeds up the songwriting process. You may have a certain chord or melody note in your mind but may not have the ability to […]

David Bowie - The Next Day

How a Creative Chord Progression Can Make a Song More Meaningful

Of all the various elements that go together to make a song, a chord progression can get away with being less than imaginative. Your melody and lyric both need to be new and interesting, or else you haven’t written an original song. But the chords might be as mundane as a standard I-IV-V-I type of […]