Let Chord Progressions Set Up Your Song's Groove

It’s pretty obvious that the most important concern regarding chord progressions is to have one chord move smoothly to the next. There’s nothing worse than chords that just don’t feel right. A bad set of changes can actually kill an otherwise pretty good song. But that’s not the only job of a good progression. It’s important […]

Songwriting Principle No. 9: Tracking the Rise and Fall of your Melodies

Writing a good melody requires several things all working together; chief among them are lyric and harmonies. A melody is good if it seems to complement the emotion of the lyric. The harmonies, of course, need to support the melody. Beyond that, there is another important issue which is often overlooked: melodic shape. Melodies need countour. While there […]

Songwriting Principle No. 8: The TONIC Note: Strengthening Your Song's Structure

The tonic note is the note that represents the key your song is in. So if you’re writing in G major, the tonic note is G. The tonic note is of tremendous value in strengthening your song’s overall structure; its importance cannot be overlooked. How you use it is what Songwriting Principle No. 8 is all about: The presence of […]

Songwriting Principle No. 6: All Song Elements Must Work TOGETHER

Many songwriters become fixated on one aspect of a song, to the detriment of the others. In my experience, more songwriters worry about their chord progressions than anything else. If you find chords hard to come up with, that fixation may make sense. But the most important element of a song may not actually be any […]

Songwriting Principle No. 3: Chord Progressions- What Makes a STRONG One?

You might think that when I talk about “strong” progressions I’m really talking about “good” ones, but that’s not what I’m referring to. A strong chord progression has a particular set of characteristics that contrast with the other category: fragile progressions.Good songs use a combination of strong and fragile progressions.  So what is the principle […]