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), […]

Amanda McBroom

Verses, Choruses, and How Much They Matter

The verse-chorus format of songs in the pop music genres is extremely common. Even people with no musical training in the least can tell if what they’re hearing is a verse or a chorus. The thing is, some songs don’t use the verse-chorus format. And some songs that do use a verse-chorus format will use […]

Peter Gabriel

The Best Songs Fluctuate Between Fragile and Strong Moments

I talk a lot about the concept of “fragile” versus “strong” in songwriting, and particularly when I’m talking about chord progressions. In that regard, “strong” means “clearly indicating the key with a short, unambiguous set of chord changes.” With chords, “fragile” means the opposite: making the key less clear — less obvious, by creating a […]

Keyboard player - songwriter - chord inversions

Back and Forth Between Major and Minor Within the Same Chord Progression

Contrast is a big part of what makes great songs great. Even if that contrast is something as simple as loud versus soft (instrumentation) or low versus high (melodies), contrast is crucial to keeping audiences interested. Within chord progressions, contrast usually happens when differentiating between major and minor. Songs might feature a minor verse, and […]

Microphone

How Melodies Move Up and Down Within Your Song

Good songs are almost always about contrasts. If you look closely at chord progressions, you’ll notice major and minor chords: opposites working together. With instrumentation, you’ll often see sparse, transparent sections (often the verse) contrasting with fuller, busier parts (the chorus). Contrast is an important part of what keeps listeners coming back to your song. […]

Music concert microphone

Using the Direction of Your Melodies to Create Musical Contrast

You may not have considered the up-or-down direction of your song melodies as being all that important, but it can go a long way to adding structure and musical interest to your song. Specifically, contrasting upward-moving phrases with downward-moving ones can be an aspect of musical contrast that keeps listeners listening. What I’m about to […]