Band rehearsal session

Verses, Choruses, and the Role of the Tonic Chord

The key of your song is usually determined by the key of your chorus. Your song’s verse might be in A minor, but it’s quite common for the key to then switch to C major for the chorus, and that’s usually what we think of as the song’s main key. When you put the magnifying […]

Copying Professional Songwriters as a Songwriting Technique

I’ve frequently written about the value of writing music that sounds like your songwriting hero, but it begs an important question: Aren’t you just running the risk of plagiarizing something they’ve written? And it begs a second more important question: Why is that even good advice? Why would you write to purposely sound like someone […]

Sigrid - Don't Kill My Vibe

Using Melodic Range to Create Musical Energy

If you’re not sure what’s meant by a phrase, think of it as a part of a sentence up to a comma or a period, where the sentence seems to pause, either temporarily or permanently, like this 2-phrase unit from Robert Frost’s poem, “Stopping By Woods On a Snowy Evening”: Whose woods these are I […]

Guitarist - Songwriter

How To Be Objectively Critical of Your Own Songs

Nothing slows the songwriting process down as much as second guessing every idea you get. Silencing your inner critic, at least temporarily, is a good way of making sure that you give yourself a fair chance to get something written. You need to give yourself the opportunity to hear what different song components sound like […]

keyboard player and songwriter

Making Sure Your Melody and Chords are Cooperating

Evaluating your songs objectively is crucial to songwriting success. “Fix Your Songwriting Problems – NOW!” puts the magnifying glass on 7 of the most common problems that songwriters typically face, and offers great solutions to try. Creating a song melody that is effective means writing one that is: well supported by the chords underneath it; […]

The Constantly Repeating Chord Progression – a Problem?

As a songwriter, you know how important it is to be unique. If you’re just copying or imitating what you’ve heard other songwriters do, you’re making it nearly impossible to build a fanbase of any sort. They’ve heard it all before. But that issue of imitating doesn’t usually extend to chord progressions. It’s why chords […]