George Harrison

From a Minor Key Verse to Its Parallel Major

You may be familiar with the term relative major — that’s the major key that uses the same key signature as a particular minor key. It’s a very common key relationship in pop songs, because if you’ve written a song that uses a minor key verse, and you decide to switch to major for the chorus, […]

Songwriter - calculating a new key

Moving Your Song’s Key Upward For the Chorus

I remember a while ago listening to someone’s song, trying to analyze what the problem with the chorus was. The songwriter had sent it to me, telling me that she felt the song started with great promise, but halfway through the chorus, everything sounded underwhelming. In that particular song, we diagnosed the problem as being […]

Brian Wilson

Creating Musical Surprises In Your Chord Progressions

Chord progressions, even in music that sounds innovative or novel, are usually the most predictable part of a song’s design. A song might have lyrics that are hard to understand, and use odd instruments, time signatures or unpredictable melodic ideas, but chords are usually the most easily understood part. That’s why I often use landscape […]

Keyboard & Guitar

How to Change Key in Mid-Stream

Songs, especially in the pop genres, normally end in the same key they start in. But every once in a while you’ll come across songs that feature key changes in various spots. This is called modulation in music theory circles. One of the most common key changes happens in the final chorus repeats, when the key […]

Inverting Chords to Smooth Out the Bass Line

Chord inversions (“slash chord”) add forward motion and musical energy to a song. Here’s more. ______________   Looking for good songwriting content for your iPad, Kindle, laptop, desktop, or other PDF-reading device? “The Essential Secrets of Songwriting” ebook bundle packages will show you why good songs are good, and how to apply those lessons to your own […]

For Song Momentum, Inverted Chords Need a Purpose

Download “The Essential Secrets of Songwriting” 6-ebook bundle, and get HUNDREDS of chord progressions, and TONS of songwriting advice! An inverted chord is one in which the root of the chord is not the lowest-sounding note. Every chord consists of at least 3 notes: a root, a 3rd, and a 5th. Above this basic triad, […]