KISS - Beth

5 Most Common Chord Progression Problems

Innovative, unique chord progressions are tricky, because in most pop songs the chords have an important function: provide a simple way — a musical path or road, so to speak — to move away from the tonic chord and then back again. It really is that simple. “The Essential Secrets of Songwriting” eBook bundle includes “Writing a Song […]

Piano and guitar - songwriter

How the Chords You Use In Your Songs Create (or Inhibit) Momentum

Forward motion, or momentum, is an important characteristic of songs. Simply put, momentum makes one moment of a song lead naturally — sometimes almost impatiently — to the next moment. If you hear a verse that seems to “beg for” the chorus, that’s an important characteristic of momentum. Audiences aren’t usually thinking in terms of […]

Bass player

The Best Way to Use Pedal Point in Your Chord Progressions

Songwriters can be forgiven for looking for new and exciting chord progressions. There’s a fear that if you use a progression that’s been used before, it will sound either boring or overused, and lacking in originality. The truth is that as long as the chords are properly supporting the notes of the melody, even mundane […]

Piano - songwriting

Writing Song Melodies, and What You Can Learn From “Heart and Soul”

“Heart and Soul“, that popular song that so many people like to plunk out mindlessly on piano, is a lot older than many realize. It was written in 1938 — 80 years ago! — by American songwriters Hoagy Carmichael and Frank Loesser. If you look up “infectious” in a music dictionary, don’t be too surprised […]

Piano and guitar - chords

3 Great Ways to Use a Flat-VI Chord In Your Major Key Progressions

A flat-VI chord is a major chord built on the lowered 6th degree of a major scale. In C major, the 6th degree is A. Lowering it gives you Ab, and a major chord built on that note gives you the 3-note chord Ab-C-Eb: the so-called flat-VI. In pop music genres, the flat-VI chord quite […]

Band rehearsal

Choosing the Chords That Work With Your Melody

You’ll notice that when you’ve got a melody, the notes of that melody imply the chords you’re likely to use. That’s not to say that you’ve got no choice in the matter, of course. For every chord you might use, there is a list of chords that could serve as substitutes. Just as an example, […]