Chord Progressions for Changing Key

Written by Gary Ewer, from the “The Essential Secrets of Songwriting” website:   The word “modulation” is a music theorists’ term that means“to change key.” Changing key in the middle of a song is a great way to add interest and prolong a song. Done correctly, it can generate excitement and make a good song even better. […]

How to Use Contrast to Make a Song More Interesting

When we talk about contrast in a song, we’re talking about the existence of opposites: one part of a song may be loud, another soft; one part may be loud, another soft. The concept of contrast has been part of music composition for hundreds of years, and so it doesn’t matter what genre of music you write […]

Chord Progressions Take on a New Life with Borrowed Chords

You know that for most songs, you’ll either be writing in a major key or a minor key. But did you know it’s possible to mix the chords from major and minor keys together? Such chords are called borrowed chords, or modal mixture chords. Here’s how that works: Chapter 4 of “The Essential Secrets of Songwriting” tells […]

Adding Suspensions to Your Chord Progressions

A  chord suspension involves playing one of the tones of a chord higher than is usually found in the basic version of the chord. Suspensions are found in all genres of music, from classical to folk to good ol’ rock & roll. And you can theoretically create them using any chord of your song. Here’s […]

How Can I Write Good Vocal Harmonies?

by Gary Ewer, from “The Essential Secrets of Songwriting” website: Vocal harmonies can be the perfect touch your song is looking for. Harmonies have a lot to do with controlling energy in a song, so in that sense, how and when to use vocal harmonies is an issue of formal design; you can make your song […]