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.
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.
If the market decides your songs are forgettable, then guess what? Your songs are forgettable. If the market, the listeners, decides that your new album is not worth their time… they’re right. They get to decide if your songs are great. Read the post.
Suspended chords offer more than just a frilly little something to add to your music. They work as substitution chords, they can smooth out chord progressions, and they can add tension to your music. Read the post.
These songs from decades past show us that, really, more is less. Let’s explore the magic of the bVII-I progression and how two chords can make a song. Read the post.
While it might be difficult to keep a song interesting if you limit it to one chord, it can also help create tension, highlight your lyrics, or drive a hypnotic groove. Read the post.
Want to know the number one reason why artists fail? I’m gonna be blunt about it: their songs aren’t good enough. 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.
While Nashville tuning uses the same notes as a standard guitar tuning, used by itself and in layers with other guitars, this tuning can bring an articulate presence to a recording. Read the post.
This post is excerpted from The CLIMB podcast, Episode #125, “Seven Things Every Lyricist Should Know.” Realizing these points has really helped me in my songwriting career. This is more mindset stuff, so this will be helpful no matter what you do. 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.
For some extended guitar chords — like a fully voiced thirteenth — there are more notes in the chord than there are strings. That’s where slash chords come in … with a little help from your bassist. Read the post.
Eleventh chords can liven up music in any genre, but they can be confusing. Here are some charts and examples to help guide you in your pursuit of extended chords. Read the post.