How to Improvise Your Next Song

I wrote recently about the difference between theory and practice (“What’s Most Important: Theory or Practice?“) The best songwriters are the ones that know a bit of the theory behind what they do, and then spend a good amount of time “practicing” their art. The practical side of songwriting is the actual doing side. In pop […]

Singer - Songwriter

Singing Nonsense Syllables (i.e., Gibberish) to Get a Song Going

Sometimes you need to hear your own music before you know what your song is actually about. There’s something about the chords you choose, and then the melody that gets created above them, that implies a kind of musical meaning. But occasionally it’s hard to get going because you can feel the melody starting to flow, and […]

Computer - Music Studio

Writing a Verse Once You’ve Got the Chorus

It’s common to come up with a chorus before you come up with a verse. That’s because the chorus is the section with the hook, the catchy bit that you hope brings your audience back time and time again. They’re repetitive and of relatively simple construction, so they’re often easier than other sections to write. It’s […]

Band rehearsal

Creating Chord Progressions: Speeding Up the Process

Using a chords-first songwriting method usually means starting out by improvising on chords until something interesting pops into your mind. But one of the drawbacks to this process is that you can waste a lot of time simply trying to find chords that work well together. I’ve placed two charts below, one for major keys and […]

Writing New Song Melodies Based On Old Ones

You’d be forgiven for thinking that all the good melodies have been taken. Since most songs are tonal (i.e., they exist in a key), that means that the majority of them are comprised of seven different pitches, all arranged in different ways. It makes you wonder, how many melodies can possibly be concocted by using seven pitches? Well, […]


How to Imagine Melodies When You Hear Chords

Do you like starting the songwriting process by coming up with a chord progression first? Every songwriter has done that — even writers that focus on lyrics as their strongest suit will occasionally resort to playing a chord progression, even if just to get in the composing mood. But here’s a problem you’ll often notice […]