John Legend

The Benefit of Leaving Lyrics to the Last Step

It’s a good idea to come up with a song topic and perhaps a few snippets of lyric fairly early in the songwriting process. Having the topic gives you a direction for your musical mind, and every line of lyric you generate adds to your song’s character. Thousands of songwriters are using “The Essential Secrets […]

Eric Carmen

What Can You Really Learn From an Old Song?

From our standpoint here in 2021, it may be hard to hear the difference between a song written and recorded today, and one that was done, say, three years ago. Ten years ago? You start to hear some differences. And if you go back a few decades, to the 80s for example, there are lots […]

songwriter's challenges

Starting Songs: Building On that First Idea

A common stumbling block for songwriters is: how to continue a song once that initial song idea has been created. It can feel very discouraging, because often that first song idea happens easily, and you feel excited for what’s to come. And then… nothing. I wrote about this a week or so ago, and in […]

Chilliwack

An Appreciation of “Chilliwack”

I’ve always been a fan of the Canadian rock band “Chilliwack“, which had several hit songs on the charts starting in the early 70s. They went through several stylistic changes, starting in a kind of progressive-influence rock, then settling into a straight ahead rock style by the mid-seventies. Trying to get a handle on writing […]

Guitar chords - switching minor to major

Changing Key Without Actually Changing Key

If you’re looking for a way to make your chord progressions a bit more interesting, you’ll find that changing key is a good way to do it. You might, for example, have your verse in one key and your chorus in a different one. The most common way to do that is to use a […]

Eagles - Take It Easy

Creating Contrast With Chord Progressions in a Long Melody

Some songs, instead of using a clearcut verse and chorus structure, will instead be constructed of one long melody that has different sections. I’m thinking of a song like Eagles’ first single “Take It Easy”. If you like starting songs by working out chord progressions, you need this eBook: “Writing a Song From a Chord […]