Tom Cochrane

Songwriting: Pairing Up Instinct With Knowledge

As a songwriter, you’re always trying to get the notes of your melodies, as well as the chords that accompany them, to sound somehow magical. At least, that’s the way most audiences will perceive what you’ve done. But hopefully you know that it’s not magic. It’s not even random, even though you may use improvisation and […]

Imagine Dragons

The Main Differences Between Verse and Chorus Chord Progressions

Learn all the important secrets of writing a song using the chords-first process. “Writing a Song From a Chord Progression” shows you the best way forward. Some songs will use the same chord progression for the verse and the chorus: “With Or Without You” (U2), or “Believer” (Imagine Dragons), for example. Songs that use the […]

Books and music

Those First Few Seconds

When I’m buying a real, “hold it in your hand” book from a bookstore, particularly if it’s fiction, I have a confession to make: I am highly influenced by two things: the cover design, and the first paragraph. I wonder if it makes me seem shallow, but so be it. I notice that I just […]

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 […]