Recording Studio

The Job of a Good Performer is NOT to Fix Your Song

If you ever needed a reminder that the excellence of music in the pop genres (or any genre) starts with the quality of the song, you need to listen to this great interview/discussion of music on the “Professional Musicians React” YouTube channel. In that video (“This bassist has played on over 2000 ALBUMS!!!“), bassist Leland Sklar, […]

James Taylor

Stealing (Not Stealing) Songs

A number of years ago I wrote a blog post called “Deliberately Sounding Like Your Songwriting Hero.” In it, I advocated pretending that you were your favourite songwriter, trying to write a song that would sound to everyone else that it was written by that person. The reason was a simple one: It would focus […]

Adele

Organizing Chords to Fit Your Song’s Verse-Chorus Structure

Changing key within a song is one way of keeping things interesting. One of the most popular ways to do this is to create a song verse that’s in a minor key, and then switching key (called modulating) to the relative major for the chorus. Lots of songs do this, and you can take Eagles’ […]

Piano and guitar - songwriter

Melody-First Songwriting Means You Need to Have a Good Grasp of Chords

If you take a look back — way back — into the history of music composition, you’ll discover that writing music meant writing melodies. If you listen to something written in, say, around 1550, you’ll hear several melodies being sung together, harmonizing with each other, but not purposely creating chord progressions. The chords were incidental; chords […]

Guitar chords - switching minor to major

Changing Key Without Actually Changing Key

If you’re looking for a way to make your chord progressions a bit more interesting, you’ll find that changing key is a good way to do it. You might, for example, have your verse in one key and your chorus in a different one. The most common way to do that is to use a […]

Songwriter - Writing Lyrics First

Seven Ways to Become a Better Lyrics-First Songwriter

If you’ve been working on trying to become a better lyricist, I congratulate you. Great lyrics will be a crucial part of your eventual songwriting legacy. If you look at lists of the world’s best songwriters, you’ll notice that for most of those writers the quality of their lyrics has played an important role in […]