singer - songwriter

Getting Creative with Chord Inversions

Inverted chords, often called “slash chords” because of the way they’re notated (C/G: “C slash G”) can add a very useful sense of creativity to an otherwise ordinary chord progression. In fact, if you’re looking to make your progressions sound a bit more inventive, exploring ways to use inversions should be your first step. Here’s […]

Genesis - 1978

Changing Key from Introduction to First Verse

Changing the key of a song is not all that common. Most of the time a song will end in the same key that it started in. When a song does change key it’s often the case where the verse is in a minor key, and then switches to the relative major key for the […]

guitar - keyboard - headphones

Chord Basics for Songwriters: The Most Important 5 Things to Know

Getting melodies and chords working well together is vital knowledge for any songwriter. “How to Harmonize a Melody” shows you, step by step, how that works, and gives you sound samples to follow. There’s nothing keeping you from using someone else’s chords in your own song, since chord progressions aren’t protected by copyright. Having said […]

Guitar and keyboard

Making Strange Chord Progressions Work a Little Better

The first piece of advice I always give to songwriters who are contemplating using a complex, strange chord progression in their songs is this: Make sure the progression actually works, and isn’t just needlessly convoluted. The best chord progressions — even complex ones — are the ones that stay out of the way and support […]

Wilco

“Impossible Germany” (Wilco)- Why It Works

American band Wilco has been around for a good long time now, since 1994. Their lineup has changed over the years, but has remained the same since 2004: Jeff Tweedy (singer), John Stirratt (bass), Glenn Kotche (drums), Mikael Jorgensen (keyboards), Nels Cline (guitar) and Pat Sansone (keyboards, guitar, etc.) If you listen to much Wilco […]

Instrumental Melodies

Why Instrumental Music Absolutely Needs a Good Melody

If you’ve written a melody and you want to explore the many ways there are to add chords to it, you need to get “How to Harmonize a Melody.” It shows you step by step, with sound samples, how to create the chords that will bring your melodies to life. Here’s a bit of a […]