Balancing the Major/Minor Focus of Your Chord Progressions

Written by Gary Ewer, from “The Essential Secrets of Songwriting” website Follow Gary on Twitter One of the more important preliminary decisions you make as a songwriter is to settle on a key. And that means you’re either going to choose major or minor. But why not try something that the writers of Jordin Sparks’ […]

Five Questions You Must Answer Before Writing Your Next Song

Written by Gary Ewer, from “The Essential Secrets of Songwriting” website Follow Gary on Twitter Many of you know that I often compare writing a song with going for a walk. Songs are like journeys, and we take listeners on that journey with us. But without a plan, that journey can leave the listener feeling confused and […]

Pop Songs Need a Groove, or They're Just Aimless Wandering

Written by Gary Ewer, from “The Essential Secrets of Songwriting” website Follow Gary on Twitter In the pop music world, songs need a groove, and that usually means that you need to limit the number of chords you use. A groove chiefly happens when the tonic (key) chord happens over and over again. Our musical instincts […]

Imogen Heap's "Ellipse" Released Today – A Veritable Songwriting Workshop!

Written by Gary Ewer, from “The Essential Secrets of Songwriting” website Follow Gary on Twitter Imogen Heap’s “Ellipse” has been released, and it’s a gem. For you songwriters who want a demonstration on how to write songs with a strong, imaginative instrumental component, you need to listen to this album. It’s like a songwriting workshop […]

Complex Chord Changes Usually Don't Work – Predictable is Better

Written by Gary Ewer Follow Gary on Twitter When all is said and done, if you want people to really get into your song, you have to make sure that by the end of it, they really understood what was going on in it. If your song uses complex chords that don’t move forward in […]

The Tonic Note – Be Careful How You Use It

Written by Gary Ewer, from “The Essential Secrets of Songwriting” website Follow Gary on Twitter The tonic note is the key note of your song. If your song is in Am, the note A is the tonic note. And it has a lot of power. But the more you use it, the less influential it is. […]