Violin section of an orchestra

Changing Instrumentation May Be All the Innovation Your Song Needs

Chapter 5 of “The Essential Secrets of Songwriting” shows how melody and lyric need to work together. Learn how to do it right! Get the entire 10-eBook Bundle along with a free copy of “Use Your Words! Developing a Lyrics-First Songwriting Process.” Most songwriters will, from time to time, worry about their songs all sounding […]

John Legend

The Rhythm of the Chorus Hook: It Matters

Even if a song’s chorus hook happens by pure musical instinct, there are several characteristics that are usually present in most of them: They’re rhythmically interesting. It’s usually a short, catchy melodic idea that’s easy for a listener to remember. The chords are simple and tonally strong (they strongly imply the key of the chorus). […]

Singer - Songwriter

Songs Are About Feelings, So How Do You Get a Listener to Feel Something?

Good songs represent a partnership of components. It’s not just that songs have melodies, lyrics and chord progressions; it’s that the melodies somehow make the lyrics sound better, the chords make the melodies sound better, and the lyrics make the chords sound better. Trying to get a handle on writing song lyrics? Discover the benefits […]

Bruno Mars

Got a Chorus, But Can’t Come Up With a Verse?

For most songwriters, it’s a lot easier to come up with a hook or chorus as a first step than it is to come up with verse. That’s because the hook acts as a kind of musical target; it essentially tells the audience what the song’s about. To start with a verse means that you […]

Dick Clark - American Bandstand

When Negativity Attacks Your Sense of Creativity

I firmly believe that if The Beatles were a band of our decade trying to get a start in the business, they’d probably not have survived the onslaught of negative opinions and comments that come hand-in-hand with social media. There’s a really interesting video you can watch of young folks in 1967 — in their […]

guitar - keyboard - headphones

A Process For Creating Chord Progressions

If you have a reasonable understanding of how chords work, and already know which chords are likely to be useful in a given key, you’ve got an advantage over songwriters who must rely solely on improvising to create progressions. If you want to have just a bit of chord theory to get you started, try […]