Derek and the Dominos

Using a Key Change as a Musical Surprise

In most songs, key changes happen for any one or more of the following reasons: It raises musical energy. The most typical example of this is the song that has a minor key verse, then switches to a major key chorus. That brightening of the key from minor to major increases musical momentum as it […]

Home recording Studio - Darren Perkins

The Overlapping Ranges of Verse and Chorus Melodies

In most songs, the chorus is considered to be, musically speaking, more energetic than the verse. There are lots of ways that the higher energy is attained, some of which are the producer’s responsibility: instrumentation, playing style, volume, etc. And some of ways to achieve higher energy are the songwriter’s responsibility: higher emotions in the […]

Song Form

What Songwriters Need to Know About Song Form

Form is one of those words that can cause songwriters’ eyes to glaze over. It sounds like a term that’s only going to help other people understand what you’ve written, but not help the songwriter so much. Got a melody but don’t know how to add chords to make it come alive? “How to Harmonize a […]

Songwriter

Don’t Overthink Your Songwriting Process

What’s the biggest problem for songwriters around the notion of process? It’s just my opinion, but I believe that over-thinking your process can be the biggest one. Every songwriter has their own way of approaching the task of writing songs. Most songwriters will be careful to tell you that they use many processes: no one song […]

paper & pencil - songwriter

Reading a Lyric as Part of Your Songwriting Process

Have you ever tried just reading your lyric out loud, without thinking about the melody you’ve written to go along with it? Reading a lyric can give you a lot of musical ideas, and can also serve as a good tool for diagnosing songwriting problems. Time to fix what’s ailing your songs. Read “Fix Your […]

Rolling Stones

A Rare Tonic Note Creates Forward Motion in Your Songs

The tonic note is the one that represents the key of your song, and it has the main quality of feeling like “home”. When a tonic note happens, it sounds as if a musical phrase has, even just temporarily, ended, and the next one can begin. That’s a good reason why the tonic note happens […]