Tom Petty

How Making a Line Drawing of Your Melody Makes It Better

The best song melodies are the ones that have a definable shape. You may not have ever thought of a melody in terms of its shape, but all that means is that good melodies: use recognizable, memorable patterns, and… can be described generally when it comes to its overall design. Let’s look at those two […]

Brian Wilson - Tony Asher

How a Song’s Chorus Makes Use of Musically Strong Elements

When you listen to a song just for entertainment, you’re not usually aware that parts of the song are musically ambiguous in some way, while other parts are clear and strong. Let’s say, for example, that you start your song by writing a verse that uses this short progression: C-Bb-C-Bb-C-Bb… There’s a kind of ambiguity associated […]

Band in rehearsal

The Importance of Musical Patterns in Good Songwriting

As humans, perhaps one of our strongest skills is recognizing patterns when we hear or see them. Pattern recognition gives us great enjoyment when we listen to music. Here’s what I mean: When listening to a song, most people cannot say what key they’re hearing. Most could never identify any specific note of the melody. […]

Peter Gabriel in concert

Trying Too Hard

It’s okay to wish and hope that your songs might become viral successes that the whole world can’t get enough of. And if you really want that, it seems to be a no-brainer that all it takes is some analysis of the world’s top hits, and do whatever it is they’re doing. No matter how […]

Calvin Harris

The Power of Patterns In the Writing of Song Melodies

You’ll sometimes see discussions amongst songwriters on the topic of how many notes a good melody should have. In other words, how much of a  range, when you compare the lowest notes to the highest ones, should there be when considering good melodies? History tells us that there’s no good answer to that question, because […]

Louis Armstrong

What Makes Good Song Melodies Memorable?

A key part of success when it comes to song melodies is writing something that audiences easily remember. If it’s possible to consider beauty and memorability as two separate entities, it’s worth spending a bit of time thinking about a) what makes melodies beautiful, and b) what makes them easy to remember. You’re going to […]