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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Per the Copyright Act of 1976, as soon as your song is in a fixed form, you own the copyright. So usually what people are talking about is registering the copyright when they ask, “Should I copyright my song?” 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.
Music arrangement might be the invisible art, but the results can spell the difference between a smash hit and a “nice” song. Dr. Richard Niles has a storied history as an arranger and shares some thoughts and insights in this interview. Read the post.
For someone to quote lyrics in a book, or liner notes, it requires special permission and is not covered by the set fees or processes of music licensing. Read the post.