Synthesizer player - Songwriter

Creating Melodies From Chord Progressions

Many songwriters like starting the process by working out the chords first. That’s because chords give us a strong sense of mood, and if you’re trying to generate lyrics, creating a mood is a good start. So you’ve got a chord progression to which you then add a rhythmic feel. With that partnership of chords […]

Melodies and Chords, and How They Work Together

When we talk about a melody-first songwriting process, we assume that we’re talking about writing a song where thinking up the melody, or at least a bit of a melody, is the first step. Then once we’ve got a good chunk of that working and sounding good, we then try to figure out what kind […]

A Simple, Time-Honoured Way For Writing Song Melodies

Get the eBook bundle that thousands of songwriters are using to polish their songwriting technique. Comes with a free copy of “Creative Chord Progressions” There is a kind of melodic structure called period structure — a two-phrase melody in which the first phrase acts as a kind of “question”, and the second phrase provides an “answer”. A […]

Adele - Hello

The Benefit of Speaking Your Lyric

Improvisation is an important part of most musician’s songwriting process. You sit at a keyboard, or set up some loops, or start strumming your guitar, and you generate ideas spontaneously. It’s fun to work this way. And I suppose you might say that the stronger your musical imagination, the more likely you’ll hit upon hook-like […]

Ben Folds

Shaping the Melody In a Verse-Without-Chorus Song

How do you create a melody that works well in verse-only songs? Are they structured differently from verse melodies that lead to choruses? The short answer to the second question is ‘yes’ — at least most of the time. Whether you look at classic rock examples of verse-chorus tunes (“The Night They Drove Old Dixie […]

Taylor Swift - Our Song

Repeated Notes in a Melody, and Their Impact on an Audience

If you were to ask for a generic definition from the average layperson for a melody, they’d probably come up with something like: “A series of notes that move up and down.” You’d then remind them that backing vocals also comprise a series of notes that move up and down, and that’s when we start […]