Guitar and Piano - Creating a Melody and Bass Line

Five Quick Chord Progression Tips

One thing that brings a smile to my face is thinking about the fact that chord progressions work pretty much the same way today (in a pop song) as they did more than 300 years ago (in a Bach aria). If you’ve written a melody and you want to explore the many ways there are […]

Band in rehearsal

Getting Chords to Support the Mood of the Lyric

As a songwriter you likely already know the importance of having a strong partnership between the melodies you write and chords underneath them. That partnership between melody and chords is a crucial one. But don’t forget that lyrics are an important member of that partnership. And in that regard, the chords you choose can have […]

James Taylor

Stealing (Not Stealing) Songs

A number of years ago I wrote a blog post called “Deliberately Sounding Like Your Songwriting Hero.” In it, I advocated pretending that you were your favourite songwriter, trying to write a song that would sound to everyone else that it was written by that person. The reason was a simple one: It would focus […]

Metronome

What to Think About When Choosing a Tempo For Your New Song

Many songwriters don’t think a lot about tempo when writing songs. For many (perhaps most), songs start with improvising ideas over a catchy set of chords, so it’s often the case that a tempo is chosen almost on a subconscious level. Excellence happens when you practice your technique. The 9-Lesson Course takes you through the […]

Joni Mitchell - Little Green

Great Songs Are the Best Teachers We Have

Recently the music world has been noting and celebrating the fifty-year anniversary of Joni Mitchell’s 1971 album “Blue.” If you know this album, you will know that many will tell you that the lyrics are its most powerful element. And I agree with that sentiment. There’s not a weak song on the album. When you […]