Led Zeppelin

The Best Songs Are Partnerships of Ideas

Make a little list of what you consider to be the best songs you know, and you’ll probably see one thing that is in common: each song represents a partnership of ideas. What does that term “partnership of ideas” mean? It refers to the fact that all the various components of a song — the […]

Songwriter - guitarist

An Important Way That Chords-First Songwriting Can Let You Down

There is a lot to be said for the chords-first songwriting process, not the least of which is the fact that when you start vamping on a chord progression, a mood usually becomes quickly obvious. And once you’ve got the mood of the music, a topic will often be easier to settle on. And once […]

Songwriter's notepad

5 Ways to Be Sure the Structure of Your Songs is Solid

There’s probably no word less inspiring in the world of songwriting than “structure”. And let’s face it, when was the last time you thought about “structure” when you wrote a song? But the structure of a song can be a vital part of what makes it work. It’s easiest to think about what structure really […]

Rolling Stones

A Rare Tonic Note Creates Forward Motion in Your Songs

The tonic note is the one that represents the key of your song, and it has the main quality of feeling like “home”. When a tonic note happens, it sounds as if a musical phrase has, even just temporarily, ended, and the next one can begin. That’s a good reason why the tonic note happens […]

Singer - Songwriter

Exploring the Extremes

If you always give the audience what they’re expecting, that’s a recipe for losing a fan base. It’s true that your fans are going to expect a certain style of songwriting from you, but if you never venture outward — never explore the extremes — your fan base is going to get lulled into the […]

Sugarland

Finding a Good Chord Progression For Your Song’s Pre-Chorus

A pre-chorus is not a mandatory section of a song. In fact, most songs don’t use them. But in some circumstances, a pre-chorus can be a vital addition to the structure of a song. It sits between the verse and chorus, and its main purpose is to better prepare the listener for the arrival of […]