guitar - keyboard - headphones

Creating Chord Progression Motifs

In music, a motif is a short fragment of music that gets developed and repeated throughout the length of a song. The repetition aspect of a motif makes it similar to a hook. But a hook generally repeats verbatim; it generally sounds the same each time we hear it, like “She loves you, yeah, yeah, […]

Piano-playing songwriter

Using a Diminished-ii Chord in Major Key Songs

If your song is in a major key, you know that the ii-chord is going to be minor. So if your song is in the key of C major, the chord based on the note D will be Dm (D-F-A). And you’ll be using progressions that might be like the following: C  F  Dm  G […]

Changing Key (While Not Really Changing Key)

Most songs will keep the same key from beginning to end. For songs that do change key, the most common circumstance is when you have a minor verse that moves to a major chorus. You hear this in lots of songs. I did a video a while back regarding how songs change key, and referred […]

Feist - I Wish I Didn't Miss You

How Listeners Subconsciously Evaluate Song Verses

“Fix Your Songwriting Problems – NOW!” puts the spotlight on seven of the most common errors songwriters typically make, and then offers some quick solutions you can try. Without really knowing it, most people know that verses will be structured differently than choruses. It’s interesting, because if you asked people to describe the differences they’d […]

songwriter - guitarist

What To Do If Your Songs Sound Too Syrupy

Do you find that you’d like a bit of edge in your songwriting, but everything you write sounds too sweet and gooey? You’d like to write a song that sounds like a Springsteen rocker, but the more you work on it, the more it sounds like “Muskrat Love.” So what can you do to take […]

The Bee Gees

Chord Progression Transitions Between Song Sections

With most good chord progressions, there is a sense that the progression is making one chord (the tonic) sound like a kind of musical target. As each chord happens, you hear that tonic chord approaching, and when it finally happens it sounds musically satisfying. Example: C  Dm  G  Em  Am  Dm  Gsus4  G7  C (I […]