Those First Seven Seconds

by Gary Ewer, from “The Essential Secrets of Songwriting” website: I have a theory that people judge your song within the first 7 seconds. By that time, a listener has decided if they like or dislike what you’re doing. That shouldn’t really surprise us. It’s a product of the age we live in. Television producers […]

Shaping Melodies – Does Your Melody Have a Climactic Point?

With a good song, there’s a strong sense offorward motion. How you know that forward motion is there and working for you is by your own sense of anticipation: if you find that at any given moment in your song, you want to hear what happens next, that’s the vital sense of forward motion working for […]

How to Use Non-Diatonic Chords to Great Effect in Your Songs

by Gary Ewer, from “The Essential Secrets of Songwriting” website: A non-diationic chord is one which does not normally belong to your key of choice. In the key of A major, the seven naturally-occuring chords are: A, Bm, C#m, D, E, F#m, and G#dim. Of those chords, there are countless ways of modifying them by adding tones (Aadd9, […]

Does a Verse Melody Have to Differ from a Chorus Melody?

by Gary Ewer, from “The Essential Secrets of Songwriting” website: I’ve devoted considerable space in my e-book “The Essential Secrets of Songwriting“ to describing the differences between verse melodies and chorus melodies. Nothing in the arts is exact; it’s not a science. If it were, I don’t believe we’d have a lot of interest in it. Songwriting would […]

Help! Which Chords Do I Use?

by Gary Ewer, from “The Essential Secrets of Songwriting” Website: Once you know what key your new song is going to be in, it’s a fairly simple process to figure out the triads (chords) that easily work in that key. You’ll find that the I (key) chord, the IV chord (based on the 4th note) […]

Looking for that Elusive "Killer Chord Progression?"

by Gary Ewer, From “The Essential Secrets of Songwriting” website: Songwriters often go looking for the elusive “killer chord progression”. It doesn’t really exist. Not because there aren’t great chord progressions out there, but more because chords don’t just work on their own. How good a set of changes is depends on what else is […]