The Chorus Hook and the Climactic High Point

I write a lot on this blog about song melodies and their so-called climactic high point. That’s a term that refers (usually) to the highest notes of a song. I say usually because sometimes the climactic moment in a song isn’t necessarily it’s highest note. For example, choruses will often sound more climactic — more exciting […]

The Bee Gees

Chord Progression Transitions Between Song Sections

With most good chord progressions, there is a sense that the progression is making one chord (the tonic) sound like a kind of musical target. As each chord happens, you hear that tonic chord approaching, and when it finally happens it sounds musically satisfying. Example: C  Dm  G  Em  Am  Dm  Gsus4  G7  C (I […]

Gently Rising Song Melodies Creates Musical Momentum

When a song melody moves upward, you hear an intensifying of musical energy. That’s because of the nature of the human voice. The higher we sing, the more tension we hear in the voice. You know that when you’re singing at the very top of your range that you hear that bit of strain. In […]

Adele - Someone Like You

The Psychology of Song Section Durations

In the world of music composition, songs in the popular genres (pop, rock, country, folk, and most of their subgenres) tend to be short, at around 4 minutes or so as a norm. Yes, some subgenres such as progressive rock will feature songs that are much longer, but brevity is a feature of most pop […]

John Newman - Losing Sleep

Constructing the Bridge Section of Your Song

I’d be in favour of a name other than bridge to describe the optional song section that occurs after the second chorus. Maybe “section 3.” A bridge implies that its main job is to transition from one thing to another newer thing, and to make that a smooth connection. But a song’s bridge most often takes the […]

How to Brainstorm Ideas For Your New Song

You’re sitting in your room with a blank piece of paper and a guitar. How do you get the songwriting process started? Where do your ideas come from? And how do you maintain a fresh supply of ideas so that songwriting can be a daily activity? I think if you’re using the same process every […]