Shawn Mendes

Building a Sense of Anticipation in Your Melodies

Recently I wrote about the musical power that comes from starting progressions on a chord other than the tonic chord. By avoiding the tonic, the listener subconsciously wants to hear it, and so it creates a very powerful sense of musical energy: the listener is willing to wait to hear the tonic eventually happen. Songwriters […]

Synthesizer player - Songwriter

Creating Chord Progressions That Work in Practically Any Song

A good chord progression has a sense of direction. It doesn’t just wander about, one nice chord following another nice one. Once a progression starts, it’s usually the case that it targets a particular chord, making that one chord more “important”, so to speak, than the others. You see this targeting of that one important […]

Bass player

The Best Way to Use Pedal Point in Your Chord Progressions

Songwriters can be forgiven for looking for new and exciting chord progressions. There’s a fear that if you use a progression that’s been used before, it will sound either boring or overused, and lacking in originality. The truth is that as long as the chords are properly supporting the notes of the melody, even mundane […]

Guitar and music paper

Getting Creative With Circle of Fifths Progressions

Want to know the best way to use chords as a starting point in your songwriting process? Read “Writing a Song From a Chord Progression.” Get it separately, or as part of “The Essential Secrets of Songwriting 10-eBook Bundle.” A circle of fifths progression is one in which adjacent chords have roots that are a […]

Imagine Dragons

The Main Differences Between Verse and Chorus Chord Progressions

Learn all the important secrets of writing a song using the chords-first process. “Writing a Song From a Chord Progression” shows you the best way forward. Some songs will use the same chord progression for the verse and the chorus: “With Or Without You” (U2), or “Believer” (Imagine Dragons), for example. Songs that use the […]

Piano and guitar - mixolydian mode

What is a Fragile Chord Progression?

If you’ve got a melody, but don’t know how to add chords to it, you need to read “How to Harmonize a Melody.” It will show you, with sound samples, a clear step-by-step for adding chords that will make your melody sound great. In most pop songs, the chord progressions you’ll find yourself using will […]