Adele - Someone Like You

The Psychology of Song Section Durations

In the world of music composition, songs in the popular genres (pop, rock, country, folk, and most of their subgenres) tend to be short, at around 4 minutes or so as a norm. Yes, some subgenres such as progressive rock will feature songs that are much longer, but brevity is a feature of most pop […]

Songwriting - Editing Lyrics

The Power (and Necessity) of Editing Your Songs

The best editing in the creative arts makes things shorter, not longer. That’s not a rule, and it’s not exclusively true, but it’s almost always the case. Pop songs tend to be 3-4 minutes in length. That’s usually because of the subject matter. People think it’s because we don’t have attention spans that will allow […]

Peter Gabriel - Games Without Frontiers

Coming Up With Creatively Predictable Chord Progressions

A chord progression is the one element that doesn’t overly hurt a song if it’s predictable. Creative songs are still being written using the tried-and-true I-IV-V-I progression. It’s the uniqueness of the melody and lyrics (and all the related bits such as phrasing, rhythm. etc.) that really matter. Having said that, there’s something nice about […]

Piano - Songwriter

Can Songs Be Too Short?

Over the past number of years, I’ve worked with songwriters mostly via email and/or Skype. Every songwriter has their issues, the problems they’re trying to solve. If I were to make a list of every problem songwriters are dealing with, a song that’s too short wouldn’t be on it. Let me qualify that. There are lots of […]

Are You Overloading Your Songs?

As a student of music composition at university, I did a good amount of writing for music ensembles of every configuration. Orchestras, string quartets, choirs, guitar ensembles… I loved the challenges that writing for these groups presented. Some pieces I wrote were short, but in modern day “classical” music, it wasn’t unusual to write multi-movement pieces […]

3 Great Ways to Make Your Chord Progression Longer

• Written by Gary Ewer, from “The Essential Secrets of Songwriting” website. • FOLLOW GARY ON TWITTER for songwriting tips and notification of blog updates. • Download “The Essential Secrets of Songwriting” suite of 6 e-books now at a 50% saving. _________________________________ I often think that songwriters obsess about chord progressions to an unhealthy degree. Let’s set one […]