Pachelbel's Canon in D: What Songwriters Can Learn

Pachelbel’s Canon in D is undoubtedly one of the most instantly recognizeable pieces of Classical music ever written. (Just pop “Pachelbel’s Canon” into YouTube and you’ll get  hundred’s of versions to listen to). What’s more, it’s loved by almost everyone who hears it; whether they love or hate Classical music, it’s hard to shrug off the beauty and elegance […]

How to Use Contrast to Make a Song More Interesting

When we talk about contrast in a song, we’re talking about the existence of opposites: one part of a song may be loud, another soft; one part may be loud, another soft. The concept of contrast has been part of music composition for hundreds of years, and so it doesn’t matter what genre of music you write […]

Chord Progressions Take on a New Life with Borrowed Chords

You know that for most songs, you’ll either be writing in a major key or a minor key. But did you know it’s possible to mix the chords from major and minor keys together? Such chords are called borrowed chords, or modal mixture chords. Here’s how that works: Chapter 4 of “The Essential Secrets of Songwriting” tells […]

Letting Others Listen to Your Songs is Vital to Your Growth as a Songwriter

An important part of improving your songwriting skills is singing your songs for others to hear. Not doing this is like writing in a vacuum, and your artistic improvement will be slow and restricted. Having someone else judge your music can be a very humbling and unnerving experience. It takes a lot of inner strength […]

If You're Waiting For Inspiration, You're Wasting a Lot of Time

So what’s wrong with inspiration? Don’t the best songs in the world inspire us? And so doesn’t that require inspiration? The simple answer is: no, songwriting does not require you to be inspired. And in fact, if youare waiting for inspiration, that could be the source of that pesky writer’s block that keeps raising its head. The role […]

Why A Good Chord Progression is Like Going for a Walk

Any of you who have read my e-books, particularly my chord progression e-books, know that I often use the analogy of taking a walk to describe how a good chord progression works. It’s a good analogy for many reasons. But here’s the main one: when you take a walk, the path you’re on is like the chord progression […]