Keyboard - Chord Progressions

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 […]

The Who

5 Options for Shortening a Song That’s Too Long

I get songs sent to me now and again, for me to give my thoughts on improving them. (If you’re having a problem with something you’re writing and would like my input, I’ll direct you to this post. It will let you know how to go about that.) Here’s an interesting fact about the songs […]

Writing Song Intros that Can Do Double-Duty

Download “The Essential Secrets of Songwriting” 6-ebook bundle, and kick-start your songwriting career! _____________ The main purpose of a song intro is to set up the basic feel and mood of what’s about to happen. It’s during the intro that you establish the key, tempo, and rhythmic foundation of the song. There’s another use for […]

Writing a Hook and Making it Work

Get FANTASTIC RESULTS! – Download “The Essential Secrets of Songwriting” 6 e-book bundle and START WRITING GREAT SONGS! ____________________________ Hooks are many things to many songwriters. For some, the hook is that neat little rhythmic/melodic idea that gets stated at the beginning of a song, and then keeps on keeping on. Think “Smoke on the […]