Guitar - altered chords

Creating Quick Mood Swings Using Chord Surprises

One of the reasons many songwriters like the chords-first songwriting process is that chords do a great job of setting up a mood. Once you’ve got the mood, you’ll find that lyrics happen a bit easier, and then many things fall into place: melody, rhythmic feel, tempo, and so on. One way to get even […]

Guitar - chords - songwriter

Fitting Melodies to Chords, and Vice Versa

Melody notes only sound right if the chords underneath them fit properly. If you’re a chords-first songwriter, you need to say it the other way — chords only sound right if the melody you eventually write fits them. But in any case, good songs are a partnership between melodies and chords, and then they need to […]

Piano-playing songwriter

Using a Diminished-ii Chord in Major Key Songs

If your song is in a major key, you know that the ii-chord is going to be minor. So if your song is in the key of C major, the chord based on the note D will be Dm (D-F-A). And you’ll be using progressions that might be like the following: C  F  Dm  G […]

How to "Borrow" Chords From a Minor Key

Written by Gary Ewer, Senior Instructor, Dalhousie University, from “The Essential Secrets of Songwriting” website. • Follow Gary on Twitter • Fix your songwriting technique! Check out “The Essential Secrets of Songwriting” 6 e-book bundle – available now at a 50% savings! ________________________________ A borrowed chord is a simple concept: you know that for any major key, there are […]

Sia's "Soon We'll Be Found"- Two-Part Verses and Other Goodies

Written by Gary Ewer, from “The Essential Secrets of Songwriting” website. Follow Gary on Twitter for songwriting tips, news and more. ___________________ If you don’t know the music of Sia, you’re missing a real treat. Her music is a perfect example of how songwriters need only venture minimally outside the box to create fantastic music. […]