3 Cool Ways to Change Key

Download “The Essential Secrets of Songwriting” 6-book bundle, and learn every aspect of great songwriting! ________________________ Changing key within a song can add that spark of variety and uniqueness you might be looking for. Of course, key choice will be closely related to the vocal range of your melodies; you can’t put your song in […]

Using a Pre-chorus to Build Anticipation

A verse needs to progress in such a way as to make the chorus feel like the next logical step. By this I mean that verse lyrics, melody and chords should be constructed to build certain tensions that are then resolved in the chorus. But sometimes, moving from the verse to the chorus can seem […]

Adding Chords to a Melody: the 3 Easy Steps

Coming up with a chord progression that works is not rocket science, but if you don’t get things quite right, you’ll wind up with a song that just feels wrong. Many songwriters will start the songwriting process by coming up with a set of chords that work before they even deal with the melody. But […]

6 Ways of Dealing With That Dreaded Scourge: Writer's Block

No matter how proficient a songwriter you are, it will happen. You’ll go through a protracted period of time where the ideas just seem to dry up, and you can’t seem to get beyond a few unrelated musical thoughts that go nowhere. Writer’s block hits everyone, but the good news is that there are things […]

Using Chord Substitutions to Pull Song Sections Together

A couple of posts ago I wrote about using palindromic chord progressions (ones that read the same in both directions) as a possible way of making a connection between verse and chorus. Here’s another thought: if you find that your verse and chorus are using the same, or almost the same, progressions, try taking the […]

Creating and Using Palindromic Chord Progressions

Chord progressions are like clothes, in the sense that you usually want your shirt to coordinate with your trousers, and you similarly want your verse progressions to work with your chorus ones. One way we coordinate progressions is to use many of the same chords, but usually in a different order in the various sections […]