How to Power Up and Control the Mood of Your Music

Whatever you write about comes with a mood. Not to simplify this, but songs are usually either generally happy or sad, with often a blend of many different shadings of emotions. “Happy” can mean “triumphant”, “at peace”, “jubilant”, “satisfied”… you get my meaning. Of all the various elements that go together to make a song, chord progressions are […]

Songwriter - Guitarist

How to Know What Key Your New Chord Progression Is In

Let’s say that you’ve been working out a new chord progression, and you’ve found something — a combination of 3 or 4 chords — that really seems to work. The trouble is: you can’t figure out what key that progression is in. How do you identify it? The first question you might ask is this […]

Band rehearsal

5 Powerful Minor Key Progressions

Most of us succumb to a kind of “muscle memory” when it comes to writing music. We tend to favour certain styles, certain tempos, even certain keys. To a degree, this isn’t a bad thing, and it’s to be expected. The fact that we favour this or that way of writing is what having a […]

Keyboard & Guitar

Avoiding the Constant Return to the I-Chord

If you’re looking for ways to make your progressions a bit more interesting without being too weird, there’s a simple modification you should consider: simply avoid overusing the I-chord. In a standard I-IV-V-I progression (C-F-G-C) the I-chord is the tonic chord. It’s the one that represents your song’s key. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with its use, […]

Elton John

Creating Long Chord Progressions That Work

It might surprise you to know that most chord progressions, regardless of the genre of the song you’re looking at, are relatively short. Comparing verse to chorus, you’ll find that verse progressions tend to be a bit longer on average, involving more chords, but even so, progressions that use more than 6 or 7 chords are […]

Piano - Songwriting

Giving Your Song a New Identity

Have you ever written one of those songs that just doesn’t work, no matter what you seem to do to it? Of course, the most common solution is to put it aside, maybe forget about it, and get on with your next one. Before you give up entirely on that song that isn’t measuring up, […]