Guitar and paper for songwriting

Got Great Lyric Ideas, But No Story?

Let’s say you find yourself in a situation where some catchy lines of lyric, or some great word combinations, have been rolling about your mind, but you don’t have a story or song topic that helps knit those lines or words together. “Use Your Words! Developing a Lyrics-First Songwriting Process” shows you several ways to […]

Guitar in a nature setting

When You’re Stuck in Ballad Mode

If you listen to early Bee Gees tunes, you’ll notice how much they favoured slow tempos. Everything (well, almost everything) seemed to be a ballad. That’s not a criticism of their compositional prowess. But they were definitely, at least mostly, in ballad mode in their pre-disco days. Check out their 1971 album “Trafalgar” and you’ll […]

How Interesting Your Chords Are Isn’t the Most Important Part of a Song

However you start the songwriting process, you’re likely starting with the aspect of music with which you feel most comfortable. Start with lyrics? You probably find words easy to combine and finesse. Start with chords? You likely feel most comfortable setting the mood and colour of the music. If you’re a chords-first songwriter, you’re probably […]

Songwriting and writer's block

Working Gradually and Carefully to Solve Writer’s Block

If you’re an athlete, you know this: when you’ve been injured and can’t perform your sport, you take the time away to do whatever is necessary to heal. Once you’ve healed, you ease your way back into your regular routine, gradually and carefully. “Chord Progression Formulas” is an eBook that shows you how you can make dozens […]

Guitar - altered chords

Creating Quick Mood Swings Using Chord Surprises

One of the reasons many songwriters like the chords-first songwriting process is that chords do a great job of setting up a mood. Once you’ve got the mood, you’ll find that lyrics happen a bit easier, and then many things fall into place: melody, rhythmic feel, tempo, and so on. One way to get even […]

Rob Thomas

Increasing Musical Energy In a Song

It’s a basic principle of good songwriting that musical energy should either stay the same or increase — rarely decrease — as a song progresses. If you listen to the start of Verse 1 end of most songs, and then skip ahead to the final moments, you’ll notice that an energy build has taken place. […]