David Bowie - The Next Day

How a Creative Chord Progression Can Make a Song More Meaningful

Of all the various elements that go together to make a song, a chord progression can get away with being less than imaginative. Your melody and lyric both need to be new and interesting, or else you haven’t written an original song. But the chords might be as mundane as a standard I-IV-V-I type of […]

Feist - 1234

Creating a Song From 3 Short Melodic Ideas

Here’s an alternative to always thinking in the verse-chorus format: try creating three short melodic fragments, all in the same key, and then putting them together to create a complete song. Don’t worry or think about which one is the verse or chorus. If you want a real example of what I’m talking about, you […]

KISS - Beth

5 Most Common Chord Progression Problems

Innovative, unique chord progressions are tricky, because in most pop songs the chords have an important function: provide a simple way — a musical path or road, so to speak — to move away from the tonic chord and then back again. It really is that simple. “The Essential Secrets of Songwriting” eBook bundle includes “Writing a Song […]

Singer-songwriter-guitarist

Dealing With Excessive Predictability In Your Songwriting

Predictability is not the horrible monster of songwriting. Even songs that sound unique, complex or startling are often following a template established by someone else’s song, with just a touch of innovation thrown in; it doesn’t take much innovation to make a song sound unique. If you like starting songs by working with a chord […]

Guitar, headphones and music

How to Make Chord Progressions Sound Stronger

Get the eBook bundle that thousands of songwriters are using to improve their songwriting technique. “The Essential Secrets of Songwriting 10-eBook Bundle” comes with a free copy of “Use Your Words! Developing a Lyrics-First Songwriting Process.” One common complaint I hear from songwriters is that when trying to come up with a unique or creative […]

The Beatles

Finding New Songwriting Formulas

The thing that’s bad about a songwriting formula is the predictability of it. When you write to a formula, you’re working out a song based on the notion that “when I do this, I should then do that.” And if you write that way, every song you write is going to have an undesirable sameness. […]