John Legend

Using Opposite Approaches For Your Verse and Chorus

As listeners of music, we like to hear contrasting ideas as a song progresses, even if we’re not consciously aware of it. In songwriting, a contrasting idea might mean something like this: one part of a melody that’s harmonized mainly with minor chords, followed by a section harmonized with mostly major ones. Contrast in a […]

Lady Gaga

When a Verse and Chorus Are In Different Keys

Having the verse and chorus in different keys is not rare if you consider the number of songs where the verse is mainly in minor, and then the chorus switches to the relative major. Sometimes the minor-major relationship is a different one, like Lady Gaga’s “Paparazzi” (Stefani Germanotta, Rob Fusari), which has a verse in […]

Songwriting - Piano and guitar

Tips and Tricks for Making Chord Progressions Better

“The Essential Secrets of Songwriting” 10-eBook Bundle contains 5 eBooks that pertain directly to chord progressions: how to create them, add them to melodies, and start the songwriting process with them. “Use Your Words!” is free with your purchase of the bundle. For most chord progressions, it’s often the case that the chord you start […]

Starting a Song Bridge on a ii-Chord

A song’s bridge usually follows the second go-through of the chorus. And it’s a good opportunity for you temporarily to explore a new key area. That’s because by the time this part of the song happens, a listener’s musical brain is ready for something new. So a bridge will usually give you: a new melody; a new […]

Where Have I Heard This Before? 6 Ways to Avoid Accidental Plagiarism

With only 7 notes in common use for any major or minor key, you’d think that the possibility of accidentally plagiarizing someone else’s song would be commonplace. How many ways can you rearrange notes to come up with something truly unique? I’m sure some mathematician can come up with an actual answer for that, but […]

Fleetwood Mac - Don't Stop

Song Melodies: Thinking About Your Starting Note

Because good songwriting usually starts with improvising ideas based on your instincts, you may not have given much thought to what note your tunes start on. The chord you choose, in most circumstances anyway, limits your choices to 3 notes: the root, the 3rd or the 5th. Understandably, there’s no rule that governs what the […]