Guitarist - songwriter

Songwriting: Creating Instant Gratification

One thing all pop music subgenres have in common, with the possible exception of progressive rock, is that the songs are short. Most of the time you need to offer your audience a complete work of artistic expression that lasts four minutes or less. In the creative arts, that’s not very long. Back in the […]

Marvin Gaye

The Secret Power of the Melody: “I Heard It Through the Grapevine”

The 1960s hit song “I Heard It Through the Grapevine“, written by Norman Whitfield and Barrett Strong, was a Motown hit for several groups. Gladys Knight & the Pips released it in 1967, and it went to number 1 on the R&B Singles chart. You’re probably more familiar with the Marvin Gaye version, released in […]

Songwriter-Guitarist

The Power of Creative Chord Changes

By creative chords, I mean any progressions that stray from the typical 3- or 4-chord changes that strongly reinforce the key your song is in. Standard progressions are the most common ones you’ll find in most of the pop genres, like: I-IV-V-I (C-F-G-C) I-ii-V-I (C-Dm-G-C) I-vi-IV-I (C-Am-F-C) I-vi-V-I (C-Am-G-C) There are more to add to […]

Kiefer Sutherland

“Something You Love” (Kiefer Sutherland) – Why It Works

I wonder if I can be forgiven for not being aware of the quality of Kiefer Sutherland’s music. I’ve always known him as an excellent actor (24, Designated Survivor, etc.). But I wasn’t at all familiar with his music. And it’s very good. He’s released two albums to date: “Down in a Hole” (2016) and “Reckless […]

Piano and guitar - chords

Creating Chords For Your Song’s Bridge Section

Getting melodies and chords working well together is vital knowledge for any songwriter. “How to Harmonize a Melody” shows you, step by step, how that works, and gives you sound samples to follow. About seven years ago I wrote a blog post about the best way to create chord progressions for a song’s bridge. I […]