Townes Van Zandt

Major with a Minor Flavour: Townes Van Zandt’s “Pancho and Lefty”

Townes Van Zandt was a highly respected singer-songwriter whose songs were covered by some of the world’s biggest names — Willie Nelson, Emmy Lou Harris, Merle Haggard and others. There’s a quiet kind of contemplative sound to his music and draws the audience in; they make you listen. Van Zandt’s most well-known song is “Pancho […]

Guitar and Piano - Creating a Melody and Bass Line

Five Quick Chord Progression Tips

One thing that brings a smile to my face is thinking about the fact that chord progressions work pretty much the same way today (in a pop song) as they did more than 300 years ago (in a Bach aria). If you’ve written a melody and you want to explore the many ways there are […]

Guitarist - songwriter

Songwriting: Creating Instant Gratification

One thing all pop music subgenres have in common, with the possible exception of progressive rock, is that the songs are short. Most of the time you need to offer your audience a complete work of artistic expression that lasts four minutes or less. In the creative arts, that’s not very long. Back in the […]

Band in rehearsal

Getting Chords to Support the Mood of the Lyric

As a songwriter you likely already know the importance of having a strong partnership between the melodies you write and chords underneath them. That partnership between melody and chords is a crucial one. But don’t forget that lyrics are an important member of that partnership. And in that regard, the chords you choose can have […]

Piano and guitar - songwriter

Chord Advice For Starting a Song’s Bridge

One of the reasons that you might add a bridge to your song is that it can make it just a bit longer, if all you’ve got is a couple of verses. So if, by the time you’ve reached the end of your second go-through of the chorus, you feel that your song would sound […]