Neil Young

Songwriting: Pivoting Between Major and Minor

When writing a song, it seems logical to assume that it will be either in a major or minor key, and you simply have to choose which one. But there is another option, which is to allow the song to start minor, switch quickly to major, then back to minor, and so on. You’d be […]

Singer-Songwriter

Does Your Melody Work Without the Chords and Lyric?

Not all songs are about the melody. Since every good song is a partnership of melody, lyrics and chords (and then miscellaneous other bits that get woven in and around those elements), you can wind up with a song that makes a stronger impact through its hook, lyric or rhythmic groove, and leave melody as a less […]

Neil Young and the Art of the "Harmonic Diversion"

Download “The Essential Secrets of Songwriting” 6 e-book bundle. Here’s how to get your songs working right away! Back in 1975, Neil Young released his 8th album, “Tonight’s the Night.” The second track, “Speakin’ Out”, is interesting for a lot of reasons. We often think that songs need to be in one key or another, […]

When You've Got Killer Lyrics, Other Elements Can Step Back

“The lyrics on “There’s a Reason” are wonderful, and on first listen you’d swear you’re listening to Dylan…” Written by Gary Ewer, from “The Essential Secrets of Songwriting” website. Check out Gary Ewer’s Songwriting e-books here. Follow Gary on Twitter You’ve probably got the instinct of most songwriter’s out there, which is to ensure that […]

Will Using a Chord Progression Formula Make Your Song Boring?

by Gary Ewer, from “The Essential Secrets of Songwriting” website: Did you know that chord progressions are not protected by copyright? That’s mainly because, try as you might, you can’t find an original progression. And if you can, it probably stinks. 😉 Not because you can’t write good progressions, but the good ones have likely […]