Neil Young - Heart of Gold

Structuring the Melody in a Verse-Only Song: “Heart of Gold”

When it comes to a song’s melody, there’s a standard kind of “formula” that practically all songs in a verse-chorus format use: Verse: Start the melody relatively low in pitch, and move higher as it comes closer to the chorus. Chorus: Keep the chorus relatively high in pitch. If the end of the verse is […]

Bob Dylan - 1962

Several Ways to Create High Points In Your Songs

With most songs, you become aware that there is a moment where the greatest musical excitement happens. Typically it’s somewhere during the chorus, if the song uses one. If it’s a verse-refrain song, that climactic moment typically happens right at (or near) the start of the refrain, like “The Times They Are A-Changin’.” If your […]

songwriter

Your Favourite Part: Does Your Song Have a WOW Moment?

For every song you know, you likely can name a favourite part — something specific about that song you really like. Sometimes, it may just be a single word, and the way the singer performs it. It might be a specific line in a guitar solo, or even just one note in that solo. If […]

Simon & Garfunkel

Writing a Rock Anthem – The Important Characteristics

It’s hard to define what a rock anthem is. It’s the sort of song form that you recognize when you hear it, though. The most important quality of an anthem is probably universality: the notion that everyone could join in and sing the chorus together, and feel a sense of camaraderie and celebration for doing […]

Folk Singer - Songwriter

Identifying Your Songs’ Most Exciting Moments

For every song you love, you can probably name at least one aspect or element of that song that really clicks with you. In other words, even though all good songs are a partnership of good ideas, there are usually one or two that really stand out. It might be something basic, like the groove. […]

Foster the People

Identifying Your Song’s Climactic Moment

Most songs have a moment that can be identified as being its climactic moment. More often than not, it’s somewhere toward the end. Climactic moments are sometimes easy to identify: “Bridge Over Troubled Water” (Paul Simon): You can hear the song constantly building, and, like many songs, is really a series of climactic moments, each […]