Bob Dylan

The Colour Attributes of a Flat-VII Chord

Most of the time when you create chord progressions for your songs, you’re using chords that all come from a particular key. Often we combine chords even without knowing what key they come from. Trying to get the chords-first songwriting process working? Your main concern with chords-first songwriting will usually be the creation of good, memorable […]

Beyoncé - Break My Soul

Putting a Songwriter’s Eye on Beyoncé’s “Break My Soul”

Beyoncé’s latest hit single, “Break My Soul” (written by Beyoncé, Tricky Stewart, The-Dream, et al) is currently at the top of the Billboard Hot 100. Every hit song balances standard fundamentals of songwriting with something unique and innovative. So let’s take a look at three songwriting innovations that set “Break My Soul” apart and make […]

Van Halen - Jump

What a Strong Chord Progression Does For Your Chorus

There are many ways to categorize chord progressions, but the best way system for songwriters is to classify them as being either fragile or strong. These two words, fragile and strong, pertain to the key of your song, and specifically refer to whether a progression makes the key very obvious or somewhat ambiguous. Getting melodies […]

singer - songwriter

Getting Creative with Chord Inversions

Inverted chords, often called “slash chords” because of the way they’re notated (C/G: “C slash G”) can add a very useful sense of creativity to an otherwise ordinary chord progression. In fact, if you’re looking to make your progressions sound a bit more inventive, exploring ways to use inversions should be your first step. Here’s […]

Genesis - 1978

Changing Key from Introduction to First Verse

Changing the key of a song is not all that common. Most of the time a song will end in the same key that it started in. When a song does change key it’s often the case where the verse is in a minor key, and then switches to the relative major key for the […]

guitar - keyboard - headphones

Chord Basics for Songwriters: The Most Important 5 Things to Know

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. There’s nothing keeping you from using someone else’s chords in your own song, since chord progressions aren’t protected by copyright. Having said […]