Which Chords with Which Notes? Harmonizing a Melody

___________________________ I wish more songwriters would do the melody-first method. Coming up with the melody after endless strumming of chords can often result in a tune that is directionless and uninspiring. What probably scares writers off of writing a melody first is… how do you harmonize it? Getting a bit of understanding with regard to […]

Darius Rucker's "It Won't Be Like This For Long" – Why it Works

by Gary Ewer, from “The Essential Secrets of Songwriting” website: A couple of weeks ago, I wrote an article called “Writing Good Songs – The Predictability Factor,” and in that essay I mentioned that there needs to be an ideal balance between elements that are predictable and elements that are innovative.  “It Won’t Be Like […]

How to Use Chord Inversions

by Gary Ewer, from “The Essential Secrets of Songwriting” website: Songwriters are always looking for ways to be more creative with chords. Some of the best ways involve simple modifications, and chord inversions offer great bang for the buck. You may know the term “inversion” by another term: “slash chords.” What it means is that […]

Recognizing When Your Melody Isn't Working

by Gary Ewer, from “The Essential Secrets of Songwriting” website: If you don’t know why your melody isn’t working, don’t worry, it’s fixable. If you don’t know that your melody isn’t working, that’s a problem; you can’t fix a problem you don’t recognize. It’s really hard on a songwriting website like this to address good […]

Writing Good Songs – The Predictability Factor

by Gary Ewer, from “The Essential Secrets of Songwriting” website: As as songwriter, you can be forgiven for fearing that your song is sounding pretty much like every other song out there. But on the other hand, predictability will sell more songs than innovation. What attracts a listener to a song? You’ve got it: the […]

How Many Chords Make a Good Progression?

Written by Gary Ewer, Senior Instructor, Dalhousie University, from “The Essential Secrets of Songwriting” website. • Follow Gary on Twitter • “The Essential Secrets of Songwriting” 6 e-book bundle is available now at a 50% savings! ________________________________ For many of you, what you really feel you need is a set of good chord changes that work. It’s […]