Songwriting - chord choices

Blending Major and Minor Chords Within a Song Section

For whichever key you choose for a song, there are certain chords that you’ll use because they exist naturally in that key. Then there are the chords you’ll choose, not because they belong to that key, but because they add a bit of musical interest. Stuck with how to get chords that fit the melody […]

Rush - Spirit of Radio

Comparing Vocal and Instrumental Melodies

In theory, there shouldn’t be a lot of difference between a melody that’s meant to be sung and one that’s meant to be played. Particularly in the pop genres, both kinds of melodies will usually display the following characteristics: The melody will usually move mainly by step (i.e., adjacent notes in a scale) with occasional […]

Guitar

Taking Songwriting Technique to Higher Levels

When you listen to great instrumentalists, no matter what genre, you become aware of something important: underneath all those great musical ideas is a foundation in the basics. If you don’t have a grounding in the basics of technique on your instrument, it’s going to show pretty quickly. Everyone knows this. That’s why, if you’re […]

Musical Energy

Using the Natural Energy of Music in Your Songwriting

When we talk about the energy of music, at least in strictly songwriting terms, we’re talking about the sense of the music being propelled forward. In this sense, I’m not necessarily talking about how powerful, loud or energetic the music sounds or feels; I’m talking about musical momentum. For example, when one section of a […]

songwriter

The Advantages of a Lyrics-First Songwriting Process

In my last post, “Finding Your Best Starting Point”, I offered suggestions for how to build a songwriting process when you’ve got a small fragment of music as your starting point. One of those fragments might be a bit of lyric. For many songwriters, starting the process with lyrics can yield great results. There are […]

Singer-songwriter

Finding Your Best Starting Point

If you’re new to the world of songwriting, you may find yourself wondering if there’s a best way to start. If you ask a dozen songwriters that question, you’ll likely get at least half a dozen different answers. And I’d probably say that those answers all have the potential to be correct — if they […]