Balancing the Major/Minor Focus of Your Chord Progressions

Written by Gary Ewer, from “The Essential Secrets of Songwriting” website Follow Gary on Twitter One of the more important preliminary decisions you make as a songwriter is to settle on a key. And that means you’re either going to choose major or minor. But why not try something that the writers of Jordin Sparks’ […]

Using Plateau Pitches to Organize the Structure of Your Melody

Written by Gary Ewer, from “The Essential Secrets of Songwriting” website Follow Gary on Twitter Jason Aldean’s latest hit on the Country charts, “Big Green Tractor,” demonstrates a great technique for building melodies that work: plateau pitches. It’s a way of structuring a melody to ensure that you get a controlled build through your song that […]

Doing Interesting Things With Time Signatures and Phrase Lengths

Written by Gary Ewer, from “The Essential Secrets of Songwriting” website Follow Gary on Twitter It doesn’t take much to make a song appear to be much deeper than it really is. It just takes doing little things that are just a touch out of the ordinary. Changing the time signature is one easy way […]

Five Questions You Must Answer Before Writing Your Next Song

Written by Gary Ewer, from “The Essential Secrets of Songwriting” website Follow Gary on Twitter Many of you know that I often compare writing a song with going for a walk. Songs are like journeys, and we take listeners on that journey with us. But without a plan, that journey can leave the listener feeling confused and […]

Pop Songs Need a Groove, or They're Just Aimless Wandering

Written by Gary Ewer, from “The Essential Secrets of Songwriting” website Follow Gary on Twitter In the pop music world, songs need a groove, and that usually means that you need to limit the number of chords you use. A groove chiefly happens when the tonic (key) chord happens over and over again. Our musical instincts […]

Songwriting Collaborations Are Usually Win-Win, and Worth a Try

Written by Gary Ewer, Senior Instructor, Dalhousie University, from “The Essential Secrets of Songwriting” website. • Follow Gary on Twitter • Good songs sell! Check out “The Essential Secrets of Songwriting” 6 e-book bundle – available now at a 50% savings! ________________________________ It’s not common to find songwriters who excel in all facets of music creation. The best songs […]