Joni Mitchell

Understanding a Song’s Climactic Moment

Most songs have a “climactic moment”, usually in the chorus, but sometimes in other places, like a song’s bridge. In most cases, you can identify a climactic moment by finding the highest note. This has been a noticeable trait in music for centuries. You can go back to Handel’s oratorio “Messiah”, for example, and see […]

Guitarist - songwriter

Getting the Energy Levels of Your Songs Working Properly

When it comes to the performance of a song, you’re probably very well aware of the importance of musical energy. Much of the time we might safely equate energy with loudness, though the true definition involves a lot more than just loudness. If all you need are tons of progressions to try out, you need “Essential Chord […]

Creating Musical Ideas

How Your Song’s Chorus Should Differ From Your Verse

Don’t be surprised if most of the time you start your songwriting process by working on getting the chorus happening first. For most of your listeners, your song will be defined by what’s happening in the chorus; it’s the chorus that really needs to shine. Songwriters are very familiar with the chorus hook, but there are […]

Dolly Parton

What Melodic Direction Does to a Song’s Emotional Energy

The average listener may think that a song melody moves up and down in a kind of random way, but for the best songs, there does seem to be value in thinking about a melody’s direction as something purposeful and important. I’ve said in many blog posts (like this one: “How Making a Line Drawing […]

Otis Redding

Making Sense of Harmonic Rhythm In Your Songs

The perfect combination: “The Essential Secrets of Songwriting 10-eBook Bundle” and a Study Guide! Dig into the songwriting manuals that thousands of songwriters are using to polish their technique, complete with a study guide to show you how to progress through the materials. Harmonic rhythm is the term we use to describe how frequently you […]

Rock Concert

The Necessity of a Powerful Chorus Hook

I don’t at all want to give the impression that the chorus hook is so important that it makes whatever you do in a verse unimportant. It most certainly is important that everything you write is something people want to listen to. But when it comes to standard pop song formats that use a series of […]