Guitar and piano

Revoicing Your Chords to Find Better Melodies

Historically, music was all about melody, not chord progressions. In fact, if you go back in time a few hundred years, let’s say to the 1400s or 1500s, the concept of “harmony” was a bit different from what we have today. In those days, “harmony” was what happened when various melodies were played at the […]

Phil Collins

Melodies That Are Easy to Sing Are Usually Easy to Remember

If you’ve written a melody that’s hard for people to remember, it’s difficult to imagine it as something that would make any sort of splash in the music world. If people need to hear it many times before they can start humming or singing it, it’s probably missing the opportunity to make a strong connection. […]

Pentatonic Melodies are Usually the Easiest to Harmonize

If you’ve been trying your hand at starting the songwriting process by writing a melody, I applaud you. It may seem tricky at first to create a melody when you haven’t come up with chords first, but once you get the hang of it, you (and your fans) will appreciate the quality of your melodies. […]

Rock band in concert

A Song Hook’s Rhythm and Melody, and How They Pair Up

Good songs don’t follow rules; it’s more a case of following guidelines. That means that every time you think you’ve identified a songwriting “rule”, you can come up with a list of songs that don’t follow it. Here’s a good example: if you look at a hundred different songs and try to identify the characteristics […]

Songwriter's notepad

5 Ways to Be Sure the Structure of Your Songs is Solid

There’s probably no word less inspiring in the world of songwriting than “structure”. And let’s face it, when was the last time you thought about “structure” when you wrote a song? But the structure of a song can be a vital part of what makes it work. It’s easiest to think about what structure really […]

Keyboard player - songwriter - chord inversions

The Secret to a Good Two-Chord Song

Because most songwriters want to stand out from the crowd, at least just a bit, it’s common to go looking for chord progressions that are unique, or at least somewhat inventive. I love a creative chord progression, and so I think looking for chords that sound fresh and not overly-used by others is a worthwhile […]