Chord Progressions for Changing Key

Written by Gary Ewer, from the “The Essential Secrets of Songwriting” website:   The word “modulation” is a music theorists’ term that means“to change key.” Changing key in the middle of a song is a great way to add interest and prolong a song. Done correctly, it can generate excitement and make a good song even better. […]

The Pre-Chorus Can Make Your Song More Memorable

Written by Gary Ewer, Senior Instructor, Dalhousie University, from “The Essential Secrets of Songwriting” website. • Follow Gary on Twitter • Good songs sell! Check out “The Essential Secrets of Songwriting” 6 e-book bundle – available now at a 50% savings! ________________________________ The pre-chorus (sometimes called the “rise” or “climb”) is an occasionally-used element situated between a verse and a chorus. […]

Giving Your Melody a Shot of Excitement – Can You Say "Appoggiatura"?

Normally, an Italian musical term from the classical music world would send any self-respecting songwriter running for cover. In this case, the daunting word “appoggiatura” can actually become your best friend if you’re trying to find a good way to inject some energy and interest into an otherwise boring melody. Here’s how it works. An […]

Let Chord Progressions Set Up Your Song's Groove

It’s pretty obvious that the most important concern regarding chord progressions is to have one chord move smoothly to the next. There’s nothing worse than chords that just don’t feel right. A bad set of changes can actually kill an otherwise pretty good song. But that’s not the only job of a good progression. It’s important […]

Songwriting Principle No. 9: Tracking the Rise and Fall of your Melodies

Writing a good melody requires several things all working together; chief among them are lyric and harmonies. A melody is good if it seems to complement the emotion of the lyric. The harmonies, of course, need to support the melody. Beyond that, there is another important issue which is often overlooked: melodic shape. Melodies need countour. While there […]

Songwriting Principle No. 2: Energy Propels Your Song Forward

When we speak of the energy of a song, it’s probably obvious what we’re talking about. In short, it’s that unseen force within a songthat causes our body to move with the music. All songs have energy, even the very quiet, serene ones. The successful song does not deal so much with how much energy a […]