Amanda McBroom

Controlling the Emotional Build of a Verse-Only Song

Some songs make use of a verse-only construction, and Bette Midler’s hit “The Rose” (written by Amanda McBroom) is a good example of this. There are other songs that are mainly verse-only, with a short one-line refrain, like Lennon & McCartney’s “I Want to Hold Your Hand.” Those two song formats, verse-only and verse-refrain, both have […]

Piano and guitar - mixolydian mode

What is a Fragile Chord Progression?

If you’ve got a melody, but don’t know how to add chords to it, you need to read “How to Harmonize a Melody.” It will show you, with sound samples, a clear step-by-step for adding chords that will make your melody sound great. In most pop songs, the chord progressions you’ll find yourself using will […]

Minor chord progressions for songwriters

5 Chord Progressions for Minor Key Verses

Each eBook in “The Essential Secrets of Songwriting” 10-eBook Bundle shows you the fundamental principles that make great songs great. Comes with a FREE DEAL. Choosing a minor key for your verse has at least two nice benefits: It allows for the potential of switching to a major key for the chorus, and that sense […]

Singer-Songwriter - Recording Studio

Opting for a Refrain Instead of a Chorus

In common usage within the pop genres, a refrain is a closing line at the end of a verse, usually used in place of a chorus. A classic example is Bob Dylan’s “The Times They Are a-Changin’”. “Chord Progression Formulas” shows you how to create dozens of great progressions practically instantly by using some powerful […]

Sam Smith - I'm Not the Only One

Creating a Verse and Chorus Over the Same Chord Progression

It sometimes amazes me how different a verse and chorus can be from each other. The classic example of this is probably Paul Simon’s “My Little Town“, which features a long meandering verse with a complex chord progression, syncopations and changing time signatures. The chorus changes character almost completely, offering a very short, catchy hook […]

Bruce Springsteen

The Importance of Balancing Section Lengths Within a Song

You’ll hear experienced songwriters and producers say that the chorus of a song should arrive before the 1-minute mark. This is particularly true of songs with moderate to quicker tempos. Slower ballads can tolerate longer verses, and so it might take a bit longer. That guideline is in place because producers like to ensure that […]