Fixing Songs That Sound Too Much Like Other Ones

Practically every songwriter confronts this nagging problem at some point, and sometimes very often: You start writing, and right away you notice that it’s similar to some other song you’ve heard before. There’s nothing like noticing that your new song sounds like an already-existing one to kill your songwriting process in its tracks. So then […]

Genesis - 1978

Chord Progressions: The Journey Away, and the Journey Back Home

Chord progressions, at least the kind you find in the pop genres, aren’t usually overly complex. Even when they are a bit more creative than mainstream, they don’t tend to leave the tonic chord too far in the distance. The kind of progressions you find in a chorus are usually more simplistic in structure than […]

The Songwriter's Checklist - Gary Ewer

New and Updated Songwriter’s Checklist – Free eBook

I’ve just updated and expanded my Songwriter’s Checklist – a short booklet designed to help you solve nagging problems with your latest song. It’s a free eBook that you can download by clicking here: DOWNLOAD THE SONGWRITER’S CHECKLIST I’ve also created a short video to explain a bit about that checklist: I think the most […]

Guitar and music paper - Songwriting

Why Simplicity Works So Well In Songwriting

It’s something you hear a lot with regard to songwriting, but with other creative arts as well: Simplicity is a virtue. Don’t get me wrong – I love complexity in music, and I always have. But once in a while I’m reminded of how powerful a song can be when: melodic lines are clear chords […]

Finding Alternatives to the Standard I-IV-V-I Progression

The typical 3-chord song has been the workhorse of early rock and roll. Go back to the 50s, and it’s the mainstay of most songs. By 3-chord songs, we’re talking usually about this progression: I  IV  V7  I  (C  F  G7  C) And then, of course, the writer might throw something else in, particularly in […]

Piano and guitar - chords

3 Great Ways to Use a Flat-VI Chord In Your Major Key Progressions

A flat-VI chord is a major chord built on the lowered 6th degree of a major scale. In C major, the 6th degree is A. Lowering it gives you Ab, and a major chord built on that note gives you the 3-note chord Ab-C-Eb: the so-called flat-VI. In pop music genres, the flat-VI chord quite […]