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 […]

Band in rehearsal

Dealing With “To Be Continued” in Songwriting

When I’m watching a drama on network television, I know that I have to deal with constant stoppages in the action. It’s those commercial breaks that pay the bills, and so they’re important. Those commercial breaks probably make TV executives very nervous: it’s during the breaks that I’m most likely to switch stations and try […]

Rob Thomas

Increasing Musical Energy In a Song

It’s a basic principle of good songwriting that musical energy should either stay the same or increase — rarely decrease — as a song progresses. If you listen to the start of Verse 1 end of most songs, and then skip ahead to the final moments, you’ll notice that an energy build has taken place. […]

Julia Michaels - "Issues"

Getting a Song Working Before the Recording Process

When we talk about musical energy or momentum, we’re often talking about how loud, quick or rhythmically complex a song is. We think of songs that have energy as songs that get us moving. But in fact, energy is more complicated than that. All songs have energy, even the very quiet, slow ballads that are […]

Creating a More Energetic Song Chorus

Most people have little or no vocabulary when it comes to the structure of songs. The average person sitting in the local coffee shop listening to a song through their headphones wouldn’t know a bridge from a pre-chorus. But interestingly, if you actually ask someone, even with little or no musical background, “Is this section […]

Band rehearsal session

Verses, Choruses, and the Role of the Tonic Chord

The key of your song is usually determined by the key of your chorus. Your song’s verse might be in A minor, but it’s quite common for the key to then switch to C major for the chorus, and that’s usually what we think of as the song’s main key. When you put the magnifying […]