Phil Collins

Must All My Melody Notes Fit the Chords?

As you know, you can strum a chord for quite a number of bars, and the melody that you sing over that chord will usually feature a lot of different notes. Sometimes, the various notes of a melody might actually come from the chord itself. For example, “Papa Was a Rollin’ Stone” (Norman Whitfield, Barrett […]

Stevie Wonder

Five Easy Ways Your Chords Can Be More Interesting

As you know, I spend a lot of time telling songwriters that their chords don’t need to be complex or even innovative in order for a song to succeed. They just need to support the melody, and as long as that melody is catchy, and assuming the lyrics you come up with are engaging, you’ve […]

Songwriter - piano player

How Melody Notes and Chords Cooperate

I often get emails asking me some variation on the following: How can chords, which contain only 3 or 4 notes, be used to accompany melodies that contain so many notes? The question relates to the fact that you might strum a chord for two full bars (8 beats) or even more, and in those […]

Praise G-sus, and Other Non-chord Tones

Chord suspensions are one way to take a standard progression and add a bit of colour. ______________  Looking for good songwriting content for your iPad, Kindle, laptop, desktop, or other PDF-reading device? Gary Ewer’s eBook Bundle, “The Essential Secrets of Songwriting”, will show you why good songs are good, and how to apply those lessons […]

5 Tips for Fixing Problems In a Chord Progression

Some problems with chord progressions are easily fixed with these 5 tips. “From Amateur to Ace: Writing Songs Like a Pro” is included as part of “The Essential Secrets of Songwriting” 10-eBook Bundle, or sold separately. There are clear reasons why some chord progressions work while others don’t, but understanding the reasons means you need to […]

Chord Progression Tip: Creating and Using Suspensions

A suspension produces momentum in music by creating a tension which needs resolution. ____________ Purchase “The Essential Secrets of Songwriting” 6-eBook Bundle TODAY, and claim your free eBook “From Amateur to Ace: Writing Songs Like a Pro”. _____________ First, let’s define some of the terminology we use when talking about chords. A chord is three or more notes […]