Kiefer Sutherland

“Something You Love” (Kiefer Sutherland) – Why It Works

I wonder if I can be forgiven for not being aware of the quality of Kiefer Sutherland’s music. I’ve always known him as an excellent actor (24, Designated Survivor, etc.). But I wasn’t at all familiar with his music. And it’s very good. He’s released two albums to date: “Down in a Hole” (2016) and “Reckless […]

Adele

Organizing Chords to Fit Your Song’s Verse-Chorus Structure

Changing key within a song is one way of keeping things interesting. One of the most popular ways to do this is to create a song verse that’s in a minor key, and then switching key (called modulating) to the relative major for the chorus. Lots of songs do this, and you can take Eagles’ […]

Piano and guitar - chords

Creating Chords For Your Song’s Bridge Section

Getting melodies and chords working well together is vital knowledge for any songwriter. “How to Harmonize a Melody” shows you, step by step, how that works, and gives you sound samples to follow. About seven years ago I wrote a blog post about the best way to create chord progressions for a song’s bridge. I […]

Van Halen - Jump

How Contrasting Musical Ideas Makes a Song Better

Contrast is an important part of what pulls listeners in and keeps them listening to songs. Contrast works even if the listener isn’t aware of its presence. But knowing the importance of contrast isn’t going to do much for you if you aren’t sure how to create it. So how do you create contrast? It’s […]

Classical guitar - songwriting

Chord Progression Suggestions for Song Refrains

A refrain is not a short chorus. It’s better thought of as the end of a long verse. In that respect, since most song refrains will end on the tonic chord (the I-chord of your chosen key), the best chord progressions for a refrain will be ones that drive strongly toward that tonic chord by […]

Guitar chords - switching minor to major

Changing Key Without Actually Changing Key

If you’re looking for a way to make your chord progressions a bit more interesting, you’ll find that changing key is a good way to do it. You might, for example, have your verse in one key and your chorus in a different one. The most common way to do that is to use a […]