Neil Young - Heart of Gold

Structuring the Melody in a Verse-Only Song: “Heart of Gold”

When it comes to a song’s melody, there’s a standard kind of “formula” that practically all songs in a verse-chorus format use: Verse: Start the melody relatively low in pitch, and move higher as it comes closer to the chorus. Chorus: Keep the chorus relatively high in pitch. If the end of the verse is […]

David Myles

What Downward-Moving Melodic Ideas Do For Your Music

Most of the people that listen to your songs will immediately pick up the mood of the music. In fact, the mood — the feeling they get when they hear your song — is the first thing they’ll experience. But they don’t often know what generates mood in music. Are you ready to have LYRICS […]

Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers

Using Melodic Direction to Act as Musical Glue

Though for the best part of my music career I analyze songs and pull them apart to better understand them, I’m just like any other consumer of music: I want to be entertained. That means when I listen to music, I’m not always critiquing. Sometimes, like you, I just want to sit back and enjoy what […]

Singer-songwriter-guitarist

How to Write Song Melodies that Connect With Your Audience

For some songwriters, songwriting seems to be all about writing a great melody. Paul McCartney, Joni Mitchell, Paul Simon, Barry Gibb — these are all songwriters for whom the success of their songs is often easily attributable to the quality of the melodies they write. I mention this, because not all great songs need to […]

Paul Simon

More Thoughts on Uniqueness, Conformity, and Artistic Value in Songwriting

Monday’s blog post, “Uniqueness is a Powerful and Necessary Element in Good Songwriting”, got me thinking a lot more about the challenges of writing something singular within a particular genre, and so think of this post as a kind of “Part 2” to that article: One thing that practically all artistic works have in common, […]

Songwriter

Five Steps to Making Words Singable

Do you find it reasonably easy to write words (lyrics, poetry, etc.), but when you try to create songs with those words, everything sounds corny, random, and just plain bad? You read the words, and they sound just fine; you try singing them, and they sound a bit lame. The best songwriters are best because of […]