Band in rehearsal

Controlling the Energy Level of a Song

Musical energy is a subtle element. Most of the time people will think you’re talking about either loudness or rhythmic activity when you’re talking about energy. And while that’s often true, there’s a lot more to it. If you like starting songs by working out chord progressions, you need this eBook: “Writing a Song From […]

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How to Create Forward Motion Within a Song

Forward motion is a term that refers to the sense of musical energy in a song. In real terms, forward motion is what makes a listener want to keep listening to a song. In other words, the listener wants to believe that as good as the song is at this moment, it’s going to sound […]

Pensive songwriter

7 Common Songwriting Mistakes, and How to Avoid Them

Songwriting is problem-solving. For every song you’ve ever written that really works well, you’ve probably solved dozens or more problems that have taken you from the initial concept through to the finished product. Over the past couple of decades I’ve helped songwriters solve issues related to their songwriting, either working directly via in-person or online […]

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. […]

Foreigner - I Want to know What Love Is

What a Melody Should Do In a Song’s Pre-Chorus Section

A pre-chorus is an optional section that sits between the verse and chorus. There are several reasons why you might choose to use a pre-chorus in a song, the most common reasons being any combination of the following: The verse is quite short. The verse melody is very repetitive. The beginning of the chorus is […]

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In Songwriting, What’s Worse Than Predictability?

If there’s one thing songwriters usually strive for, it’s uniqueness. No one wants to simply write songs that sound like everything else that’s going on out there. That would make it hard to build a fan base of your own. Except… there is something worse than being overly predictable in your writing style (and predictability […]