Looking to spice up your chord progressions? Why not borrow a chord or two from a different mode or scale? Borrowed chords are a tried-and-true way to add an unexpected touch to songs. Read the post.
While major and minor chords get all the attention, don’t neglect music’s lovely diminished chords. They can spice up your boring chord progressions and add drama to your songs. Read the post.
Have you got the music in you and want to start writing songs? Here’s a no-nonsense primer to getting your songwriting career started. Read the post.
There are a lot of factors that play into choosing the right arrangement for a song — but choosing the best key for you and the musicians might be the most important. Read the post.
Here’s a fascinating look at how Stephen Stills took an unreleased leftover and turned it into the enduring classic, “Southern Cross.” Read the post.
We’ve posted songwriting tips that cover music theory, the use of interesting chords, lyric writing advice, and ways to channel creativity. Read and enjoy.
Ever sit down to learn a song and find that no matter what chord you play, it’s just not right? We investigate two mystery chords in two classic songs. Read the post.
Becoming fluent with musical improvisation is an attainable goal. Here are some tips to help you grow in that direction and to make your own music improv shine. Read the post.
Power chords might not be chords, but they’re powerful intervals — especially when mixed with distortion. Read the post.
In music, a mode is a formula for creating a musical scale. The Lydian Mode’s formula (W–W–W–H–W–W–H) can give your melody or progression an uplifting and yearning feeling. Read the post.
The genius of Paul McCartney’s basslines never wavered, but his choices as a bass player post-Beatles show his focus was ever more on the song and serving the vocal melody. Read the post.
Paul McCartney’s basslines are an integral part of the Beatles’ evolution from world-beating pop band to musical pioneers. We identify just what McCartney did to make his parts stand out from what other bassists were doing at the time. Read the post.
While the mediant (iii chord) isn’t as structurally integral as the tonic, dominant, or subdominant, employing its major variation can provide an unexpected surprise that will make listeners’ ears perk up every time. Read the post.
While it might be difficult to keep a song interesting if you limit it to one chord, it can help create tension, highlight your lyrics, or drive a hypnotic groove. Read the post.
A pedal point can make a standard progression more interesting or ground a complex progression in something familiar. Read the post.