Which Chords with Which Notes? Harmonizing a Melody

___________________________ I wish more songwriters would do the melody-first method. Coming up with the melody after endless strumming of chords can often result in a tune that is directionless and uninspiring. What probably scares writers off of writing a melody first is… how do you harmonize it? Getting a bit of understanding with regard to […]

How to Use Chord Inversions

by Gary Ewer, from “The Essential Secrets of Songwriting” website: Songwriters are always looking for ways to be more creative with chords. Some of the best ways involve simple modifications, and chord inversions offer great bang for the buck. You may know the term “inversion” by another term: “slash chords.” What it means is that […]

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 […]