Songwriter-Guitarist

The Power of Creative Chord Changes

By creative chords, I mean any progressions that stray from the typical 3- or 4-chord changes that strongly reinforce the key your song is in. Standard progressions are the most common ones you’ll find in most of the pop genres, like: I-IV-V-I (C-F-G-C) I-ii-V-I (C-Dm-G-C) I-vi-IV-I (C-Am-F-C) I-vi-V-I (C-Am-G-C) There are more to add to […]

Guitar - chords - songwriter

What Kind of Help are Songwriters Looking For?

I’ve been writing this blog since 2008, and every once in a while I check my most popular posts, just to see what kind of help songwriters are looking for. Back in the early days, there was a  clear indicator that it was articles about chord progressions that got the most visits. Then, starting around […]

synthesizer keyboards on stage

5 Top Tips for Getting Chords and Melodies to Work Well Together

Whether you come up with the chords and then create a melody, or have a melody that you want to add chords to, you need to be sure that the chords are properly supporting the melody. When chords and melody work well together, you have the happy circumstance that they both sound better than they […]

Piano and guitar - songwriter

Melody-First Songwriting Means You Need to Have a Good Grasp of Chords

If you take a look back — way back — into the history of music composition, you’ll discover that writing music meant writing melodies. If you listen to something written in, say, around 1550, you’ll hear several melodies being sung together, harmonizing with each other, but not purposely creating chord progressions. The chords were incidental; chords […]

Classical guitar - songwriting

Chord Progression Suggestions for Song Refrains

A refrain is not a short chorus. It’s better thought of as the end of a long verse. In that respect, since most song refrains will end on the tonic chord (the I-chord of your chosen key), the best chord progressions for a refrain will be ones that drive strongly toward that tonic chord by […]