Time to Throw out Your Songwriting Formula?

A  songwriting formula is a process. It’s the way you write, the procedure you follow for creating a new song. And it can be, over the long term, your worst enemy. Here’s why. The very term “formula” implies that it’s a method, or set of steps, that’s been done many times before. The good thing about that is […]

Let Chord Progressions Set Up Your Song's Groove

It’s pretty obvious that the most important concern regarding chord progressions is to have one chord move smoothly to the next. There’s nothing worse than chords that just don’t feel right. A bad set of changes can actually kill an otherwise pretty good song. But that’s not the only job of a good progression. It’s important […]

Songwriting Principle No. 11: A Good Hook Won't Save a Bad Song

Why do so many songwriters swear by the power of the hook? It’s because the hook, by definition, can reel in a listener, and keep them humming your song all day long, for days, weeks and even years to come You can’t ignore the power of a well-placed, well-composed hook to drive your song into […]

Songwriting Principle No. 4: Fragile Chord Progressions Will Suit Your Verse Melodies

Chord progressions are funny creatures. We spend so much time looking for that elusive set of chord changes that are going to make the listener sit up and take notice. And actually, the best progressions are the ones that stay out of the way of the song. If your progressions are drawing that much interest, they’re probably drawing toomuch […]

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 […]