Bad Songs, and How to Write Them

There are many ways to write a bad song, but most of those bad ways will fall into one of the following categories:    1. Ignore the form of the song. The form is what makes the listener feel like they’ve been on a journey. Form, in essence, means that your song will make sense.    2. Make sure your […]

Use Slash Chords to Make Chord Progressions More Interesting

Simply put, inverting a triad (chord) means to put a note other than the root of a chord as your bottomost note. You might know them as “slash chords.” Used well, inversions can give direction to your chord changes, and make them sound like they’ve got a real purpose for being there. Here’s how it works: If you’re following a […]

Writer's Block – What To Do When Your Songwriting Ideas Dry Up

It’s a situation that hits every songwriter, no matter how good, no matter how experienced: writer’s block. You strum away on your guitar or try different chord combinations on the piano, to no avail. And it can leave you feeling that writing a song is about as far from fun as a visit to the dentist. […]

Chord Progressions Can Come Alive – with PLANING

Written by Gary Ewer, Senior Instructor, Dalhousie University, from “The Essential Secrets of Songwriting” website. • Follow Gary on Twitter • “The Essential Secrets of Songwriting” 6 e-book bundle is available now at a 50% savings! ________________________________ If you’re like most songwriters, you’re probably looking for ways to liven up your chord progressions. There’s a technique that’s been […]

The One-Chord Song – Can It Work?

Can a song be written using just one chord? And why would you want to do such a thing? We like to think of chord progressions as something like a journey that a song takes. You start out with the tonic (key note) chord, wander on to some other chords, before wandering back again. So why […]

How to Shape a Melody So People Will Remember It

A melody needs to have shape and a recognizable contour, or your audience won’t remember it. Recently, someone played a song for me that they had recently composed. My problem was, as I was diagnosing it, I had to keep going back to the recording of it; I couldn’t for the life of me remember that […]