Brian May - The Prophet's Song

Strangeness as a Design Feature in Songs

When I was a student at McGill University back in the mid 80s, I heard a performance of a remarkable piece of music called Opus Clavicembalisticum, written by the composer Kaikhosru Shapurji Sorabji, born in London, England. When it was written (1930), Opus Clavicembalisticum was the longest piece of piano music ever written: 4-and-a-half hours in length. The […]

Songwriter-Guitarist

Helping an Audience Understand Your Weird Chord Progressions

Here’s a quick tip for you if you like complex chord progressions: keep the weirdness toward the middle of your progression, and make the beginning and ending of it tonally strong. Here’s what that means: Most songs in the pop genres are going to be in one key or another, and so if you want […]

Peter Gabriel - Car

3 Big Tips For Making More Interesting Chord Progressions.

Every once in a while I take a look at the visitor stats for my blog, and especially take note of which pages — and in particular the topics — are the most popular. Typically it’s been articles about chords that get the most attention – usually 6 out of the 7 top posts. So […]

Guitar chords

What If You Can’t Explain a Chord Progression?

In most songs of the pop music genres, chord progressions can be used to identify the song’s key. This happens whether the songwriter who created the progression is aware of it or not. They may like E  C#m  B as a progression to build a chorus on, not knowing (or caring!) that those 3 chords belong to […]

5 Ways to Create an Interesting Moment in Your Song

Stop struggling… START WRITING GREAT SONGS! Download “The Essential Secrets of Songwriting” e-book bundle It may seem like a no-brainer, but if you want your song to be at all interesting, you actually have to create an interesting moment. It’s not enough for your songs to follow all the rules. In songwriting, as in most […]

Getting Away With Being Weird

Written by Gary Ewer, Senior Instructor, Dalhousie University, from “The Essential Secrets of Songwriting” website. • Follow Gary on Twitter • Good songs sell! Check out “The Essential Secrets of Songwriting” 6 e-book bundle – available now at a 50% savings! ________________________________ Weirdness in songwriting, when it’s done simply for the sake of being weird, usually doesn’t work. It […]