Guitar and Piano

Changing the Starting Point Within a Chord Progression

The tonic chord, which represents the key of your song (or song section), acts as a kind of tonal anchor: it sounds like “home”, and when you move away from it, your ears automatically listen for its return. You hear that easily in this basic progression: C  Am  Dm  G7  C If you look deeper […]

Guitar, Pencil & Paper

Summarizing as a Technique for Improving Lyrics

One of the most common problems songwriters mention with regard to lyrics is that they can sound muddled and aimless. And that can be a tough problem to solve. When you write lyrics, you’re usually trying to be at least somewhat poetic. And things can sound confusing and disorganized pretty quickly when you’re trying to […]

Guitar and music paper

Getting Creative With Circle of Fifths Progressions

Want to know the best way to use chords as a starting point in your songwriting process? Read “Writing a Song From a Chord Progression.” Get it separately, or as part of “The Essential Secrets of Songwriting 10-eBook Bundle.” A circle of fifths progression is one in which adjacent chords have roots that are a […]

Jimi Hendrix

Chord Ideas for Minor Key Songwriting

If you find that everything you write is in a major key, you’re missing out on an opportunity to create songs that tap into a darker or perhaps edgier side of music, a side that minor key writing offers. It might be that you aren’t sure how to create minor key progressions, and so I’ve […]

Piano & Guitar

Using the iii-Chord (and All Its Alternate Spellings)

For any major or minor key, you can build a chord on top of each note of its scale. That gives you seven chords that naturally exist for every key. If you do that with C major, for example, you get the following chords: I: C ii: Dm iii: Em IV: F V: G vi: Am vii: […]

Daniel Merriweather - Adele

Making Melody Your Song’s Most Important Ingredient

Not every song is about the melody. For songs where the melody is kind of a neutral player, you’ll typically find that the rhythmic treatments, (especially background) will step up and take a leading role. In other words, the groove and feel become very important contributors. How you know that a melody is acting as a […]