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.
In music, a mode is a formula for creating a musical scale. The Ionian (major) formula is W–W–H–W–W–W–H. The Lydian formula (W–W–W–H–W–W–H) can give your melody or progression an uplifting and yearning feeling. Read the post.
While the mediant (iii chord) isn’t as structurally integral as the tonic, dominant , or subdominant, employing it can provide an unexpected surprise that will make listeners’ ears perk up every time. Read the post.
Whether you’re dancing on piano keys or dreaming on acoustic guitar, reimagining your favorite songs for solo performance with just you, your voice, and a single instrument can be as fun as it is challenging. 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.
There are a lot of factors that play into choosing the right arrangement for a song — but choosing the right key for you and the musicians might be the most important. 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.
This post explores some common — and some of the more obscure — alternate guitar tunings to inspire you to write your next masterpiece. 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.
As an independent music artist, you’ve got a few seconds — at most — to reel a listener in to your single or lead-off track. Here are some strategies to craft a song intro that will make your listeners pay attention. Read the post.
If you haven’t ever tried to play slide guitar, all you need is a metal or glass slide, some patience, and to apply a few basic tips, as presented in these six videos. Read the post.
In part two of our series, we break down two more iconic songs from the Rolling Stones’ library: 1966’s “Under My Thumb” and “Ruby Tuesday.” Read the post.
With guitar riffs like the one in “The Last Time,” the Rolling Stones established their musical signature on the way to becoming songwriting legends. 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.