Chord Progressions: Uniqueness is Not All That Necessary (Or Possible)

There are certain progressions — certain combinations of chords — you’re more likely to see in songs written by a 21st century pop songwriter than you might with a Classical musician. But check out these two progressions and try to figure out which one was used by Romantic era composer almost 150 years ago, and […]

Music box

Using Public Domain Songs In Your Own Songwriting

If you find it hard coming up with great original melodies, you do have an option to consider: using a melody from a public domain song. Public domain refers to the fact that the original copyright of a song has expired. In many countries copyright expires 70 years after the death of the copyright holder. […]

Gary Ewer

Improving Your Songs With Private Skype Sessions

I’ve been offering private songwriting sessions for the past few years to interested songwriters, and every spring I put out a reminder of my availability. The fall and winter are very busy times for me as I do a lot of conducting, writing and adjudicating. But once May hits, I find my schedule pleasantly freed […]

Bob Dylan - 1962

How to Know Which Songs Are Good Ones to Study

For musicology students who delve mainly in the world of Classical music, history has a way of filtering out “bad” music, leaving them with what might otherwise be known as “the hits.” And there are lots of them to study. Ask those same students to list every Classical composer they know, and they’ll be able […]

Can Songwriting Be Learned, Or Is It All "Organic"?

Honing your abilities to write great songs means learning how all the different elements of a song work and communicate with each other. “The Essential Secrets of Songwriting” 6-eBook Bundle covers every important aspect of songwriting, from chords to melody-writing to lyrics.  Now with a 7th FREE eBook. Read more… ______________ In the comments of a blog posting last week, someone asserted that […]

Creating a New Melody From an Old One… Legally

Playing songs backwards can give you a whole new set of songwriting ideas. _____________ Download “The Essential Secrets of Songwriting” 6-eBook Bundle, and solve your songwriting problems TODAY. _____________ It should be obvious that taking an already-existing melody and calling it your own is not something you really want to do. First of all, it’s illegal. […]