How to Write an Anthem

“Everyone seems to agree that “Bridge Over Troubled Water” is an anthem and “Shake Your Booty” isn’t.” Written by Gary Ewer, from “The Essential Secrets of Songwriting” website Follow Gary on Twitter An anthem is one of those kinds of songs that comes under the heading of, “Hard to define, but you’ll recognize it when […]

The Difference Between Verse 1 and Verse 2

“Simply making Verse 2 louder than Verse 1 isn’t the answer. Simply making things louder doesn’t give you the natural energy build you’re looking for.” Written by Gary Ewer, from “The Essential Secrets of Songwriting” website Follow Gary on Twitter I’ve mentioned recently in several postings that the basic energy level of your song should rise […]

Using Implied Chords to Lighten Instrumental Textures

“Implied chords are used by performers as a way of lightening up the music texture… you can build the song’s energy in a natural way.” Written by Gary Ewer, from “The Essential Secrets of Songwriting” website Follow Gary on Twitter With even just a simple guitar accompaniment, you have a tremendous variety of sounds to […]

Good Lyrics are Developed After They Are Written

“There’s nothing worse than bad lyricists trying to sound deep. Like coolness, profundity can’t be faked.” Written by Gary Ewer, from “The Essential Secrets of Songwriting” website Follow Gary on Twitter Leonard Cohen has spoken of songwriting as “cultivat[ing] this tiny corner of the field that I thought I knew something about…” For him, and […]

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 […]