Rihanna's "Disturbia" – Why It Works

One of the points that I make over and over again to songwriters is that you really need to listen to the music of successful songwriters if you want to be successful. It’s not enough to hide yourself musically from what’s going on the comercial music world if you want to be part of that […]

The Role of Music Theory in Songwriting

From “The Essential Secrets of Songwriting” website:   Most of you know that I have had an internet presence on the web for years as the author of “Gary Ewer’s Easy Music Theory.” And you know that I am a big fan of any and all musicians learning some basic music theory. But maybe not for the reasons that you […]

If Your Song Lacks Excitement, Here's What to Do

From “The Essential Secrets of Songwriting” website:   If you find that some aspect of your new song bores you, don’t toss it out. The solution may be easier than you think. Take a look at these tips and see if one of them does the trick: 1- Take another look at the basic rhythm of […]

Breathe Life Into Your Chord Progressions – With Pedal Tones

A bad chord progression can kill a song, but don’t assume that a good chord progression must grab your attention. Many of the best songs in the world use very basic chords which, by themselves, are probably a bit boring. That’s because a chord progression must work with your melody and lyrics without pulling focus. […]

Chord Progressions that Change Key

It’s relatively commonplace to change key in the middle of a song. It happens for various reasons, but probably the reason that stands out over the others is the need to increase the song’s overall energy. In that regard, you’ll find that raising the key by a half-step (semitone) or a whole step (whole tone) […]

Good Songs Must Capture the Listener Right Away

From “The Essential Secrets of Songwriting” website:   For your song to be successful, it needs to capture the listeners’ attention right away, and really make an impact. If it doesn’t, it won’t sell, and it’s as simple as that.   There are three aspects of a song that rise above the others in importance: the […]