Recognizing When Your Melody Isn't Working

by Gary Ewer, from “The Essential Secrets of Songwriting” website: If you don’t know why your melody isn’t working, don’t worry, it’s fixable. If you don’t know that your melody isn’t working, that’s a problem; you can’t fix a problem you don’t recognize. It’s really hard on a songwriting website like this to address good […]

Chords for Minor Key Songs

by Gary Ewer, from “The Essential Secrets of Songwriting” website: Looking for chords to harmonize your minor-key song? There are actually two different ideas out there for what it means to be “in a minor key.” The one idea is based on traditional harmony, while the other is a more “modal” approach. I’ve put some […]

Help! Which Chords Do I Use?

by Gary Ewer, from “The Essential Secrets of Songwriting” Website: Once you know what key your new song is going to be in, it’s a fairly simple process to figure out the triads (chords) that easily work in that key. You’ll find that the I (key) chord, the IV chord (based on the 4th note) […]

Looking for that Elusive "Killer Chord Progression?"

by Gary Ewer, From “The Essential Secrets of Songwriting” website: Songwriters often go looking for the elusive “killer chord progression”. It doesn’t really exist. Not because there aren’t great chord progressions out there, but more because chords don’t just work on their own. How good a set of changes is depends on what else is […]

How to Create Modal Chord Progressions to Use in Your Songs

The term “modal chord progression” may technically be a bit of a misnomer. But in common usage, a modal progression could best be described this way: a set of chords that points to a note other than the tonic (key) note. In other words, if you’re using what appear to be chords from the key of A […]

Finding the Right Chords, Part 2

From “The Essential Secrets of Songwriting” website:   Any melody you come up with will be able to be harmonized in a variety of different ways. And that’s a good thing. It would be a very boring exercise if there was only one possibility for matching chords with melody notes. In the previous article we came […]