Song lyrics are not poems put to music. Lyrics can be poetic and should be interesting, but there’s power in conversational lyrics that sound like something the character in your song would actually say. Read the post.
Eleventh chords can provide lush texture to your songs, but they can be confusing. We’ve got charts and real-world examples to help you better understand these extended chords. Read the post.
The flat-six chord can add drama to your music, and with some exceptions, is best used sparingly in your songwriting. Read the post.
There are many kinds of ninth chords, and they can be used in different ways. This post explores different kinds of ninth chords and how you can use them, with plenty of examples of their use in popular music. Read the post.
Jazz musicians know and integrate substitution chords on a regular basis, but musicians who play other genres of music can also employ this concept to great effect. Read the post.
A recent “Play For a Publisher” event featured Stacey Willbur, VP of Publishing and A&R for Full Circle Music sharing her feedback about 10 songs that were selected to be showcased. Read the post.
Study up on the Mixolydian Mode, queue up a nice Mixo chord progression, and you’ll see why guitar masters like Eddie Van Halen, Angus Young, and Duane Allman all love Mixo-Dorian Blues. Read the post.
Johnny Dwinell and Brent Baxter lean on some sage songwriting advice Brent got from veteran songwriter Ralph Murphy: deliver a positive tempo. Read the post.
A touch of exoticism could be all you need to lift your song up from the mundane. The flat-second, a.k.a. Neapolitan chord, can be just the ticket. Read the post.
Few popular songs meld music, lyrics, and theme as potently as the Beatles’ 1965 hit single, “Help!” Here’s how they did it. Read the post.
How did a forgotten 1965 B-side become a 1981 smash? “Tainted Love” had hidden elements that Soft Cell unlocked to turn it into an enduring (and often covered) hit song. Read the post.
Augmented chords can add drama and tension, as shown in these examples from popular songs from the ’60s through the ’80s. Read the post.
The fade out, the cold ending, the endless loop, the key modulation… there are so many approaches to a song ending — at least on record — so, how are you gonna do it? Read the post.
When you’re constructing a song, think of it in relation to the human body. You build the skeleton first, which can be a melody, and develop your song from there. Read the post.
Not all these songwriting tips deal with the minutes and hours you’ll spend with your instrument in your hand, but that’s partly the point… your life outside your music studio should be rich and inspiring so that the music you create is too. Read the post.