Where Have I Heard This Before? 6 Ways to Avoid Accidental Plagiarism

With only 7 notes in common use for any major or minor key, you’d think that the possibility of accidentally plagiarizing someone else’s song would be commonplace. How many ways can you rearrange notes to come up with something truly unique? I’m sure some mathematician can come up with an actual answer for that, but […]

Band rehearsal session

5 Tiny Adjustments That Can Save a Bad Song

A few posts back, I mentioned that in the creative arts (songwriting and other forms of composition, for example), good editing is more often about what you remove than what you add or change. In other words, the best fixes to bad music frequently happens when you remove stuff, not add stuff. If I’ve written something that’s 5 […]

Lady Gaga - Poker Face

What Might Be Missing From Earworm Research

On November 3, both the CNN and BBC, as well as many other news outlets, reported new research, published in “Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity and the Arts“, into the issue of earworms: what makes an earworm, and why some songs are more likely than others to possess the characteristics of an earworm. CNN refers to […]

Guitarist - Songwriter

How to Choose Chords That Best Suit Your Song

How do you know that the chords you’re experimenting with are going to be the best choice for the song you’re working on? We know that certain chords — it’s probably more accurate to say certain chord combinations — create specific moods and support certain attitudes in a listener. So getting the right chord combinations is […]

3 Easy Changes to Try With Your Latest Song

The closer you are to finishing a song, the less likely you are to experiment with radical changes. At the start of your process, you might change chords, try different lyrics, and even change the melody. But as your song nears completion, the changes you might try are usually small ones. The song feels “set”, […]

David Bowie

Ideas For Controlling the Mood Of Your Song

One of the interesting qualities of music is its ability to affect our mood, perhaps even to generate certain moods. Politicians certainly know this; musical choice is an important consideration at rallies and speeches. There are some aspects of music that immediately come to mind when we think about controlling the mood a song portrays. […]