Songwriting Principle No. 3: Chord Progressions- What Makes a STRONG One?

You might think that when I talk about “strong” progressions I’m really talking about “good” ones, but that’s not what I’m referring to. A strong chord progression has a particular set of characteristics that contrast with the other category: fragile progressions.Good songs use a combination of strong and fragile progressions.  So what is the principle […]

Chord Progressions for a Minor Key

Download “The Essential Secrets of Songwriting” 6 e-book bundle, and become a top-level songwriter! ___________________ The vast majority of songs out there are written in a major key, so for those of you who avoid minor keys, you’re missing out on an entire palette of colours. Minor key music has a different feel, and a […]

Bad Songs, and How to Write Them

There are many ways to write a bad song, but most of those bad ways will fall into one of the following categories:    1. Ignore the form of the song. The form is what makes the listener feel like they’ve been on a journey. Form, in essence, means that your song will make sense.    2. Make sure your […]

Use Slash Chords to Make Chord Progressions More Interesting

Simply put, inverting a triad (chord) means to put a note other than the root of a chord as your bottomost note. You might know them as “slash chords.” Used well, inversions can give direction to your chord changes, and make them sound like they’ve got a real purpose for being there. Here’s how it works: If you’re following a […]

Chord Progressions Can Come Alive – with PLANING

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! ________________________________ If you’re like most songwriters, you’re probably looking for ways to liven up your chord progressions. There’s a technique that’s been […]

The One-Chord Song – Can It Work?

Can a song be written using just one chord? And why would you want to do such a thing? We like to think of chord progressions as something like a journey that a song takes. You start out with the tonic (key note) chord, wander on to some other chords, before wandering back again. So why […]