Piano - songwriting

Writing Song Melodies, and What You Can Learn From “Heart and Soul”

“Heart and Soul“, that popular song that so many people like to plunk out mindlessly on piano, is a lot older than many realize. It was written in 1938 — 80 years ago! — by American songwriters Hoagy Carmichael and Frank Loesser. If you look up “infectious” in a music dictionary, don’t be too surprised […]

Guitarist - Songwriter

Chord Progression Basics for Songwriters

Sometimes when I write a blog post that deals with chord progressions, I realize, usually by emails I receive, that the terminology or symbols that I’m using might be confusing or misunderstood. Because chords are such an important part of music in any genre, different ways to describe and name them have developed more or […]

The Bee Gees

Chord Progression Transitions Between Song Sections

With most good chord progressions, there is a sense that the progression is making one chord (the tonic) sound like a kind of musical target. As each chord happens, you hear that tonic chord approaching, and when it finally happens it sounds musically satisfying. Example: C  Dm  G  Em  Am  Dm  Gsus4  G7  C (I […]

Guitarist - Songwriter

An Easier Way to Choose the Chords For Your Songs

Chord progressions are the one aspect of songwriting where random improvisation can give you something amazing, but unfortunately you’ll often need to wait a very long time before that amazing thing happens, wading through a lot of garbage in the meantime. That’s because there is a logic to chords and the way they move from […]

Band rehearsal session

Verses, Choruses, and the Role of the Tonic Chord

The key of your song is usually determined by the key of your chorus. Your song’s verse might be in A minor, but it’s quite common for the key to then switch to C major for the chorus, and that’s usually what we think of as the song’s main key. When you put the magnifying […]