Which Should Come First – Chords or Melody?

It’s probably true that more songwriters come up with a chord progression, in whole or in part, before they come up with the melody that goes along with it. These “chords first” people would probably say that they find it hard or impossible to come up with a good melody unless they’re hearing the chords underneath. […]

Anthem Contest for "Hockey Night in Canada" Closes to Entries on Aug. 31

The CBC has been running a contest to choose new theme music for their “Hockey Night in Canada” television broadcast. To great national criticism, they lost the rights to continue using the famous theme composed by Dorothy Claman that had been in use since the 1960s. To replace this iconic anthem, the CBC has been […]

The Role of Music Theory in Songwriting

From “The Essential Secrets of Songwriting” website:   Most of you know that I have had an internet presence on the web for years as the author of “Gary Ewer’s Easy Music Theory.” And you know that I am a big fan of any and all musicians learning some basic music theory. But maybe not for the reasons that you […]

Breathe Life Into Your Chord Progressions – With Pedal Tones

A bad chord progression can kill a song, but don’t assume that a good chord progression must grab your attention. Many of the best songs in the world use very basic chords which, by themselves, are probably a bit boring. That’s because a chord progression must work with your melody and lyrics without pulling focus. […]

Guest Article – "Where Do I Go From Here?"

This is a guest article for “The Essential Secrets of Songwriting” website, written by songwriter Luc Brisson. Luc would appreciate any feedback to his comments or music, so please feel free to leave a comment below. ______________   Hello everyone, fellow songwriters. I’m a relatively new singer/ songwriter/ arranger/ instrumentalist- about 3 years in the process, […]

Chord Progressions that Change Key

It’s relatively commonplace to change key in the middle of a song. It happens for various reasons, but probably the reason that stands out over the others is the need to increase the song’s overall energy. In that regard, you’ll find that raising the key by a half-step (semitone) or a whole step (whole tone) […]