songwriting frustration

Moving Beyond That One Good Song Idea

It’s a common problem for most songwriters at one time or another: you come up with something that’s really catchy, and sounds like the start of a killer song. But then… nothing. You just can’t seem to move beyond that catchy fragment of music. What can you do? On track to make songwriting a full-time […]

Guitar - altered chords

For Making More Complex Chord Progressions, Start Simple

You may not think of many of the early Beatles songs as using complex or unusual chord progressions, but for their day, they were noticeably creative. Where so many other early- to mid-era rock and roll songs were barely straying beyond the basic I-IV-V-I kinds of progressions, The Beatles were throwing in modal mixtures, secondary […]

Guitarist - Songwriter

If Your Songwriting Process Grinds to a Halt After the First Few Notes

It’s not unusual to have times when the music just seems to flow out of your creative mind, and then times when you can’t seem to come up with anything that sounds good at all. It’s the up and down of what it means to be a songwriter, and it’s normal. If you’re stuck trying […]

David Bowie - The Next Day

How a Creative Chord Progression Can Make a Song More Meaningful

Of all the various elements that go together to make a song, a chord progression can get away with being less than imaginative. Your melody and lyric both need to be new and interesting, or else you haven’t written an original song. But the chords might be as mundane as a standard I-IV-V-I type of […]

Guitarist - Sun

Staring Into the Sun

For some songwriters, working on a song is a little like staring into the sun: you can do it only for very short periods of time before you have to look away. That looking away can mean any number of things, depending on who you are. You might: concentrate instead on your playing skills; start […]

guitar - songwriting

From Wandering to Predictable – Comparing Verse and Chorus Progressions

There are lots of ways to categorize chord progressions, but the one way that will be most useful for pop songwriters is to think of them as being either fragile or strong. A fragile progression is one where the key is not necessarily clear and obvious. These can be very beautiful progressions, and are the kind that […]