Feist - How Come You Never Go There

The Tricky Nature of Pop Song Analysis

I’m a believer in song analysis as a way of improving songwriting technique. For any writer of music, basic curiosity should make us want to know why something sounds so good, so that we might be able to incorporate at least some of those ideas into our own music. (Or why something sounds so bad, so […]

Songwriter Listening

Listening: The Best Antidote When Writer’s Block Hits

If you ever spend time reading or listening to interviews with some of the world’s best songwriters, you’ll probably notice how much time they spend talking about other people’s music. McCartney often talks about how he was influenced by Dylan, The Byrds, The Beach Boys, and many others from many genres. To McCartney, listening to others […]

Peter Gabriel - Games Without Frontiers

Coming Up With Creatively Predictable Chord Progressions

A chord progression is the one element that doesn’t overly hurt a song if it’s predictable. Creative songs are still being written using the tried-and-true I-IV-V-I progression. It’s the uniqueness of the melody and lyrics (and all the related bits such as phrasing, rhythm. etc.) that really matter. Having said that, there’s something nice about […]

Guitarist songwriter

Using a Minor i-Chord In Your Songs’ Progressions

Most of the time when you switch a major chord to a minor chord, you’re using what’s called a modal mixture, or “borrowed chord.” The most common switch is the change from a major IV-chord to a minor iv, like this: I  vi  IV  iv  I  (C  Am  F  Fm  C) It adds a nice moody […]

Guitar - Songwriting - Teacher

Teaching Others Can Improve Your Own Songwriting – Here’s How

Does your songwriting process need some help? The eBooks in “The Essential Secrets of Songwriting” 10-eBook Bundle are meant to do just that. Check them out at the Online Store, and get “Creative Chord Progressions” FREE with your purchase of the bundle. If you’re looking for a way to improve your own songwriting skills, it […]

Piano and Guitar - creative chords

Designing More Creative Chord Progressions

Chord choice is one part of songwriting that doesn’t require a lot of imagination. All that’s really required is that a progression works. In that sense, it’s not much different from a piece of country land that you might build a house on. Sure, it may seem important to have land that, on its own, takes […]