Guitar and Piano

Starting Chord Progressions Away From the Tonic Chord

In music, the tonic chord is the chord that represents the key of the song: C  Dm  Am  G  C In that progression, the key is C major, and C is the tonic chord. The psychology of music makes the tonic chord sound like “home” to us. Our brains relax when, after a long sequence […]

Linda Creed - Thom Bell

When Melodies Leap Upward

There’s no denying that the shape of a melody has a lot to do with the mood of music. However, melodic shape is a tricky one to calculate. It’s not based on a rule as much as it’s based on psychology. On a psychological level, we know, for example, that: melodies that are static, sitting […]

Concert audience

How Tension and Release Makes Audiences Want to Listen

What does the word energy mean in music, and what role does it play? There are several possible ways to use that word when discussing music, and songwriting in particular. Energy might involve any, or a combination of, the following: Loudness; we think of louder music as being more energetic. Tempo; energetic music is often faster. Instrumentation; in […]

Creating Tension & Release Keeps Audiences Listening

Creating musical tension entices an audience because they want to hear how it’s eventually resolved. _______________________ Download “The Essential Secrets of Songwriting” 6 eBook Bundle, and get “From Amateur to Ace: Writing Songs Like a Pro” free. Read more.. _______________________ Follow Gary Ewer on Twitter Tension and release in music means presenting something that sounds unresolved, something […]

Starting Songs With Non-Tonic Chords

One way to be creative with chords is to simply start on a chord other than the tonic. _____________ Download “The Essential Secrets of Songwriting” 6-eBook Bundle, and find out which songs become hits, and why they sound so good. _____________ A tonic chord is the one that represents the key that your song is in. So if your […]

5 Songwriting Ideas That Create Tension-Release

Tension and release –  it’s what keeps people listening. ____________ Download “The Essential Secrets of Songwriting” 6-eBook Bundle, and increase your song’s HIT potential. _____________ The “tension and release” concept in songwriting is one of those things that most listeners aren’t overtly aware of. Because it’s not as simple as, for example, music getting louder, though that can be […]