Is "With a Little Help From My Friends" the Perfect Song?

by Gary Ewer, from “The Essential Secrets of Songwriting” website: I believe the best songwriters in the world are the best listeners. You can spend a lot of time trying to come up with the next gem, but it’s the ones who really listen to successful songs, trying to figure out why they work, that […]

A Pedal Tone Provides Stability

by Gary Ewer, from”The Essential Secrets of Songwriting” website: Pedal tones in chord progressions can be very useful, particularly if you’re looking to use more chromatically complicated chords. That constant pedal (i.e., a low note that stays the same while the chords above it are changing) acts as a kind of anchor, helping the listener […]

EssentialChords.com Now Offering Daily Chord Progressions

by Gary Ewer, from “The Essential Secrets of Songwriting” website: Chord progressions are not covered by copyright. So if you find that your brain freezes up just trying to come up with something that can get the creative juices going, surf on over to EssentialChords.com for a daily fix. You’ll find a new chord progression […]

Treating the Bass Line as a Second Melody

by Gary Ewer, from “The Essential Secrets of Songwriting” website: You’ve got a great melody and a chord progression that works. So what can you do to add life to your song? Activate the bass line. Making the bass line do something other than just sitting on the chord root gives life to that aspect […]

Yes, You Can Learn a Lot by Studying BAD Songs

by Gary Ewer, from “The Essential Secrets of Songwriting” website: Years ago, when I was studying at university to become a music teacher, it was a requirement to visit many different schools and observe the teachers of music programs in action. I kept a journal of those visits so that I could read about my […]

Designing the Energy Level of your Song

by Gary Ewer, from “The Essential Secrets of Songwriting” website: When writing songs, the most important aspect of energy to realize is that it isn’t a constant force; it changes from moment to moment. It’s a bit like the wind in that respect. On a windy day, we usually can notice that the wind speed […]