How to Use Contrast to Make a Song More Interesting

When we talk about contrast in a song, we’re talking about the existence of opposites: one part of a song may be loud, another soft; one part may be loud, another soft. The concept of contrast has been part of music composition for hundreds of years, and so it doesn’t matter what genre of music you write […]

Chord Progressions Take on a New Life with Borrowed Chords

You know that for most songs, you’ll either be writing in a major key or a minor key. But did you know it’s possible to mix the chords from major and minor keys together? Such chords are called borrowed chords, or modal mixture chords. Here’s how that works: Chapter 4 of “The Essential Secrets of Songwriting” tells […]

If You're Waiting For Inspiration, You're Wasting a Lot of Time

So what’s wrong with inspiration? Don’t the best songs in the world inspire us? And so doesn’t that require inspiration? The simple answer is: no, songwriting does not require you to be inspired. And in fact, if youare waiting for inspiration, that could be the source of that pesky writer’s block that keeps raising its head. The role […]

Should My Lyrics Rhyme?

Lyrics are the main way you communicate with your audience, but it’s not the only way. What we do with chord progressions, melodic shape, rhythm, and the basic mood we convey with all of those elements, all work together to communicate something to the listener. But lyrics probably stand as the most important way we have […]

Why A Good Chord Progression is Like Going for a Walk

Any of you who have read my e-books, particularly my chord progression e-books, know that I often use the analogy of taking a walk to describe how a good chord progression works. It’s a good analogy for many reasons. But here’s the main one: when you take a walk, the path you’re on is like the chord progression […]

How to Create Modal Chord Progressions to Use in Your Songs

The term “modal chord progression” may technically be a bit of a misnomer. But in common usage, a modal progression could best be described this way: a set of chords that points to a note other than the tonic (key) note. In other words, if you’re using what appear to be chords from the key of A […]