Bob Marley

Solidifying Chorus Rhythms to Help the Chorus Hook

Try this little experiment the next time you’re listening to music on the radio. Put your radio in an automatic scan mode, where it moves through the dial, stopping on radio stations as it finds them, and then plays 7 or 8 seconds before moving on. As it stops at each new station (and assuming […]

Classical guitar - songwriting

Chord Progression Suggestions for Song Refrains

A refrain is not a short chorus. It’s better thought of as the end of a long verse. In that respect, since most song refrains will end on the tonic chord (the I-chord of your chosen key), the best chord progressions for a refrain will be ones that drive strongly toward that tonic chord by […]

Pumped Up Audience

Building an Audience For Complex, Innovative Songs

If you like writing songs that are on the cutting edge — innovative, creative and complex — you already know that there’s a problem to solve: building an audience for your music. It can sometimes help to look at other singer-songwriters and bands that have solved this issue. For most, though, the solution was to […]

Chilliwack

An Appreciation of “Chilliwack”

I’ve always been a fan of the Canadian rock band “Chilliwack“, which had several hit songs on the charts starting in the early 70s. They went through several stylistic changes, starting in a kind of progressive-influence rock, then settling into a straight ahead rock style by the mid-seventies. Trying to get a handle on writing […]

Home recording Studio - Darren Perkins

Making Sure Contrast is Playing an Important Role in Your Songs

If you really want to see contrast at work in music, you should listen to a Classical symphony. Each piece typically consists of four movements, and each movement will be in a different key, and usually a different tempo. Also, each movement, even if they borrow ideas from previous movements (as 19th-century composers sometimes did), […]

Singer - songwriter

Why Chorus Melodies Are Usually Higher Than Verse Melodies

Good music isn’t determined by adherence to rules; it’s more a case that the best songs are guided by certain musical principles. One of those guiding principles is that chorus melodies should normally be pitched higher than verse melodies. “Hooks and Riffs: How They Grab Attention, Make Songs Memorable, and Build Your Fan Base” describes […]