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 […]

Gotye

Lyrics Need to Support the Form of Your Song

When you look at a song’s lyric as displayed on a website or written down on paper, you’re not often aware that the nature of the lyric changes as the song progresses. But it does, and it’s important to get this right if you’re the lyricist. When we talk about a song’s form, at least in […]

A Simple, Time-Honoured Way For Writing Song Melodies

Get the eBook bundle that thousands of songwriters are using to polish their songwriting technique. Comes with a free copy of “Creative Chord Progressions” There is a kind of melodic structure called period structure — a two-phrase melody in which the first phrase acts as a kind of “question”, and the second phrase provides an “answer”. A […]

A Simple Way to Create an Interesting Verse Progression

If you like the chords-first songwriting process, but lately you’re coming up dry when it comes to good chord ideas, try this: Create a short, simple, 3-chord progression in some major key: I-IV-V-I (example: C  F  G  C) Repeat that progression. Follow it with the relative minor equivalent of that: vi-ii-iii-vi (example: Am  Dm  Em […]

Joni Mitchell

Theme and Variations as a Songwriting Technique

A common musical form that classical composers have loved for centuries is theme and variations; a melody is repeated, changed in some way, but still similar enough to the original that it’s recognizable. It was a measure of a composer’s musical imagination, and fun for an audience to hear what might happen next with the […]

Andy Grammar

The Repeatable Quality of Great Chorus Hooks

In the pop music genres, a great chorus is a self-contained unit. It doesn’t need a verse in order to work, musically speaking; it will work on its own. That’s certainly not to say that a chorus is all you need, or that a verse serves no useful purpose. In most songs, if all you […]