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 […]

Amanda McBroom

Controlling the Emotional Build of a Verse-Only Song

Some songs make use of a verse-only construction, and Bette Midler’s hit “The Rose” (written by Amanda McBroom) is a good example of this. There are other songs that are mainly verse-only, with a short one-line refrain, like Lennon & McCartney’s “I Want to Hold Your Hand.” Those two song formats, verse-only and verse-refrain, both have […]

Matching a Chord Progression to the Mood and Message of Your Song

In yesterday’s post I wrote about two-chord progressions, and how a song practically never suffers from a chord progression that’s short or boring. While that’s true, it doesn’t mean that a chord progression can’t help strengthen your song’s structure. If you’re hoping to give stronger meaning to your lyrics by using more creative chords, you […]

Lorde - Liability

The Laser Focus of Good Song Lyrics

Good lyrics have a strong sense of focus — of purpose and direction. It might help to make that statement the opposite way: bad lyrics wander about without being overly clear about what’s even being said. To say that a song lyric has focus means that it points toward a specific topic and doesn’t stray needlessly. […]

Creating a More Energetic Song Chorus

Most people have little or no vocabulary when it comes to the structure of songs. The average person sitting in the local coffee shop listening to a song through their headphones wouldn’t know a bridge from a pre-chorus. But interestingly, if you actually ask someone, even with little or no musical background, “Is this section […]

Properly Preparing the Chorus Hook

Here’s something interesting that you may not have noticed about the songs you love: the part you love may only be a few beats long. The rest of the song has the main duty of building up and leading to that great moment. Those first few beats are so enticing, so interesting, and so exciting, we […]