Keyboardist songwriter

Chords or Melody: Where Should You Put Your Focus?

Some songwriters start their process by working out a good chord progression as a first step. From there, they automatically create a backing rhythm that brings that progression to life. Once they’ve done that, the mood it generates makes them feel comfortable coming up with bits of melody and lyric, and the song starts to […]

Piano and guitar

Top 5 Tips for Chords-First Songwriting

If you like starting the songwriting process by figuring out a good chord progression, you probably like how chords very quickly convey a mood. And once you’ve got that mood, you find that other things fall into place quickly, especially a song topic, tempo, rhythmic treatment, and so on. But there are some potential problems […]

Songwriting titles

Working Out a Song Title as a First Step

Starting a song by coming up with the title first can be a great way to get your musical imagination working. The title of a song is usually part of the lyric, and it’s often an integral part of the hook. When song titles occur as a prominent part of the chorus — either at […]

Guitar and paper for songwriting

Writing a Song From a Chord Progression – An Excerpt

If you like starting songs by working out the chord progressions first, you may be aware of one notable difficulty: melodies can sometimes get neglected. And that’s a problem, since the melody is the part that you hope your listeners will be humming. But there are ways to make sure that the chords-first songwriting process […]

Singer-Songwriter in Recording Studio

Redefining How You Look at Your Songwriting Process

If you chat at all with songwriters, the word “process” comes up a lot, and most competent songwriters will express the importance of having a good one. But here’s the problem: if you use the same basic procedure for all your songs — the same process — you’ll wind up with songs that all sound pretty […]

songwriter - guitarist

Sample Chord Progressions For the Various Sections of Your Song

If you’re a chords-first songwriter, sometimes all you’re really needing are some chord progression suggestions that you can experiment with. Once you’ve got chords that you like, it frees you up to move to other more important aspects of a song, like lyrics and melody. If you like the chords-first songwriting process, you’ll want to […]