Keyboardist songwriter

Chords or Melody: Where Should You Put Your Focus?

Some songwriters start their process by working out a good chord progression as a first step. From there, they automatically create a backing rhythm that brings that progression to life. Once they’ve done that, the mood it generates makes them feel comfortable coming up with bits of melody and lyric, and the song starts to […]

Piano and guitar

Top 5 Tips for Chords-First Songwriting

If you like starting the songwriting process by figuring out a good chord progression, you probably like how chords very quickly convey a mood. And once you’ve got that mood, you find that other things fall into place quickly, especially a song topic, tempo, rhythmic treatment, and so on. But there are some potential problems […]

Writing great song lyrics

Songwriting Happens in Two Stages: First Idea, and Process

If you ask any songwriter which process they use, they’ll probably tell you that it differs from song to song. For most, it really depends on which musical fragment makes its first appearance in their musical mind. If it’s a bit of lyric, they’ll most likely to start by filling out that fragment with more […]

Guitar - Songwriter

5 Tips For Using a Chords-First Songwriting Process

A chords-first songwriting process has a few challenges that need to be dealt with. One of the main problems is that there is a tendency to focus more on the chords than on the melody. That can lead to songs that don’t have enough of a tune to be memorable. “Hooks and Riffs: How They […]

Songwriter - Guitarist

Adding Chords to a Melody: Focus On the Strong Beats

In my own composing of music, I would far rather work out a melody first, and then add the chords as a second step. That’s because melodies are what people hum to themselves; it’s hard to hum a chord progression. Many songwriters, however, work out the chord progression and backing rhythms first. There is one […]

Guitar and paper for songwriting

Writing a Song From a Chord Progression – An Excerpt

If you like starting songs by working out the chord progressions first, you may be aware of one notable difficulty: melodies can sometimes get neglected. And that’s a problem, since the melody is the part that you hope your listeners will be humming. But there are ways to make sure that the chords-first songwriting process […]