Giving Your Melodies Some Shape in the Chords-First Songwriting Process
The Essential Secrets of Songwriting
by Gary Ewer
2d ago
There’s an inherent danger in writing songs by starting with the chords, which is that the melody can get a bit static and uninteresting. You may have come up with a chord progression you really like, but when you try to add a melody to that, you often find yourself stuck on one or two notes. There’s a reason that happens: because you’re vamping back and forth on, let’s say, two chords (C-Bb, for example), the melodic ideas that you come up with tend to sit around one or two notes, fitting with whatever the chord of the moment is. Getting melodies and chords working well together is vital know ..read more
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Is Writing Quickly a Help or a Hindrance?
The Essential Secrets of Songwriting
by Gary Ewer
4d ago
Everyone’s got their own comfort zone when it comes to how quickly they can write music. Some need time to assess as they write, while others are okay with writing quickly, leaving the evaluating of musical ideas until much later in the songwriting process. Comfort level aside, there could be something to be said for writing quickly as a creative exercise. In other words, you might find that there are benefits to — for lack of a better term — forcing yourself to write music quickly. If you like starting songs by working out chord progressions, you need this eBook: “Writing a Song From a C ..read more
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Five Crucial Factors That Determine If You’ll Build an Audience For Your Songs
The Essential Secrets of Songwriting
by Gary Ewer
6d ago
If you like starting songs by working with a chord progression, you need to read “Writing a Song From a Chord Progression.” It will give you the pros and cons of this songwriting method, and help you create songs that really work! Buy 'Writing a Song From a Chord Progression' ($9.95 USD) or Read More When you’re observing a work of art in a gallery, you’ll stand and look at the painting for a while, and then you’ll move on. How long do you stand there before you’ve decided you’ve gleaned what you can from that piece of art? The answer is different for everyone. Some will look from various posi ..read more
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Using Classical Music as a Model for Writing a Good Song Intro
The Essential Secrets of Songwriting
by Gary Ewer
1w ago
Because most of my formal training in music and musical composition has been in classical music, I like thinking of ways in which pop songs have borrowed ideas from the classical masters. Chords are one way. Whether it’s a Mozart symphony, a Bach Cantata, or a Brahms sonata, the way progressions work — the way one chord moves to the next one — is more or less the same as the way they move in practically any song from the pop genres. The hook is arguably the most important part of successful pop songs. Learn how it works,  and how to create them for your own songs. With examples of pop mus ..read more
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Do You Burn Out As a Songwriter? Here’s What You Can Do About It
The Essential Secrets of Songwriting
by Gary Ewer
1w ago
As a writer of songs, you’ll probably notice that you’ve got two important qualities: Your ability to come up with good musical ideas; Your ability to work for longish periods of time to get the song finished. Good songwriters usually have both of those working for them when things are going well. But from time to time, you’ll notice that your ability to come up with good ideas diminishes a bit. And there are times when you’re still able to generate good song ideas, but you seem to run out of creative steam early in the process on any given day. The best songwriters are best because of the p ..read more
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Using Familiarity and Innovation Within the Same Song
The Essential Secrets of Songwriting
by Gary Ewer
1w ago
All songs are a mixture of things that we find familiar and predictable, with a touch of innovation and newness tossed in. The familiar things, as far as a listener is concerned, start with the very sound of the music: the sound is often what gives the genre away. “Use Your Words! Developing a Lyrics-First Songwriting Process” is FREE with your purchase of “The Essential Secrets of Songwriting 10-eBook Bundle. $37 USD. Immediate Download. Read More But there are other familiar, predictable things about a song that go beyond helping us to identify the genre. For example, chords and lyrics ..read more
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Why is Finishing a Song So Much Harder Than Starting One?
The Essential Secrets of Songwriting
by Gary Ewer
2w ago
It’s part of human natural ability to understand music, at least to some degree. People with absolutely no musical training can often tell when they’re hearing mistakes as their young child works on their weekly piano lesson. Humans have this musical ability through DNA, bolstered by whatever experiences they might have as a casual listener to music. Many people, even people with little or no previous musical experience or training, can create and hum short little snippets of melodies on the spur of the moment. When it comes to writing a song, most songs start with the ability to imagine these ..read more
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What AI Is (Possibly) Doing to Songwriting
The Essential Secrets of Songwriting
by Gary Ewer
2w ago
Lyrics become all the more powerful when they’re properly paired with a good melody. That’s what Chapter 5 is all about in the eBook “The Essential Secrets of Songwriting.” Polish your songwriting technique with the 10-eBook Bundle. Buy the Bundle ($37) or Read More VIEW the TABLE OF CONTENTS Computers have been a part of the world of music and songwriting for a good forty years now. And in practically every way you can list, the computer’s role has been that of a tool — something that takes one aspect of music production and either makes it easier or makes it better. Starting in the late ..read more
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Working Key Changes Into Your Songs
The Essential Secrets of Songwriting
by Gary Ewer
3w ago
For most of the songs you’ll write, you’ll likely use the same key throughout. If you do happen to change key, the mostly common scenario is to put the verse in a minor key and then switch to the relative major for the chorus, like Carole King’s “You’ve Got a Friend.” That’s pretty standard, and it happens in a lot of pop songs. This means that if your verse is in the key of D minor, the chorus would be in F major. (If you’re not sure what is meant by the term relative major or minor, read this: “Creating Chord Progressions that Move from Minor to Major“.) Discover the secrets of writing a gre ..read more
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The Psychology of Song Tempo
The Essential Secrets of Songwriting
by Gary Ewer
3w ago
I’ve always been interested in the tempo of music, and what effect that has on how we “hear” a song. We can measure tempo precisely, usually in bpm (beats per minute), but performers will often slightly alter tempo from one live performance to the next, which might indicate that the need for tempo precision is not as important as the need for, let’s say, precise melody notes or chords. Tempo and Athletics I recently took a look through studies to see what if any research is being done on musical tempo, and how the speed of a song affects our mood. It’s an important issue for songwriters, I bel ..read more
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