Tag archives for Chord Progressions

Songwriter’s Question: Getting the Right Song Emotion

June 5th, 2018 by

Song Emotion Question

Here is a question from the Learn How to Write Songs Facebook Group regarding a problem with the right  song emotion.

I’m having problems creating of a “happy” song. My songs always end up as a ballads and I don’t know, how to change that.  Do you have any ideas, how to combine chords to get a “good mood” song?

This is a great question that plagues many songwriters. The core of this question I believe is how to set the right emotion for a song. Of course there are several factors that the songwriters needs to consider.

To begin, the songwriter needs to start out knowing what mood the song will portray. In simplest terms that are “Sad” or “Happy” songs.

Creating the right emotion in songwriting involves two factors working together. These two factors are the lyrics and the music.  Both elements together can produce powerful emotions.  Now, let’s take a look at how lyrics and music create emotions in a song. (more…)

5 Chord Progressions Every Songwriter Needs to Know

January 9th, 2018 by

5 Chord Progressions Every Songwriter Needs to KnowChord progressions are the structural foundations of the songs we know and love. Put simply, a chord progression is a series of repeating chords, for example, C / F / G over and over.

Some songs have one chord progression for the entire song. Others have separate progressions for the verse and chorus, while more complex songs may contain four or five different progressions throughout.

Every songwriter should have an understanding of common chord progressions, not only for understanding songwriting and song structure, but for improvising with a band as well. If a group of people get together to play, several commonly known chord progressions provide a framework for everyone to play to, be it a 12 bar blues progression, rhythm changes, or the chord progression to any popular song. In this article, we will look at five of the most common chord progression in major keys. (more…)

The Elements of Writing a Song

March 25th, 2013 by

Songwriting Flow Chart Elements of Writing a Song
Songwriting is a rewarding activity. There is something special with word meets melody meets a great story. In order to get to a finished song several elements must happen. Think of a stool. If some of the legs are missing, it is unstable or unable to stand up. It is like that with songwriting. Several key elements go into writing a song. Here are some elements of writing a song.

Words

Words are what make up the lyric of a song. Lyric is a specific form of poetry that is used in songwriting. The words are the basic elements of a songs story. As a songwriter put together words, a story should be the result. A story is the best way to communicate ideas and thoughts. Words paint a picture for the listener. Words, also known as lyrics, is one of the most important elements of writing a song.  The next element of a song is the melody. (more…)

The Art of Songwriting Challenge

January 15th, 2013 by

songwriting challenge puzzle

There is an art to songwriting. Every form of art requires a process. A process helps you succeed as a songwriter. To help you improve I’ve complied this songwriting challenge. Go though each step. The ideas presented here provide a basic framework for you to start a new song. Most of the steps presented below were generated from the various songwriting tools available on this web site. There are links to each of these tools. If one of the challenge ideas doesn’t feel right to you, go ahead and explore the songwriting tool for additional possibilities. Above all – Have fun! (more…)

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Chord Progression for Songwriters

December 11th, 2012 by

Chord Progression for SongwritersChord progressions are a vital part of song writing. Let’s learn how to construct a chord progression for songwriters.

Start with the musical scale

To start out here is a C major scale…

C major Scale

In the illustration each note of the scale is assigned a number form 1 to 7.  With the C note being “1”.  This is the starting place for creating chords.

Here is the list of names for the other degrees of the scale:

Note Position Technical name
1 TONIC
2 SUPERTONIC
3 MEDIANT
4 SUBDOMINANT
5 DOMINANT
6 SUBMEDIANT
7 LEADING TONE

To create a chord, use the basic scale using the numbers to build the chord.  The first chord is C.  To make a C chord all that is need is to use this simple formula 1-3-5.  With each number representing the number in the scale.  The C chord is C-E-G. That is the C = 1, E = 3, G = 5. Basically the chord is made up of three note at ever other note interval

(more…)

Songwriting Tools to Help You Write a Better Song

November 28th, 2012 by

Songwriting Tools Notebook Pencil Guitar
This website has several online songwriting tools to help you write and create songs. These tools will help jump start your songwriting efforts. We will explore each one of the tool in a step by step fashion. So lets get started looking at these songwriting tools.

Step 1: Getting a title

Every song needs a strong title. Oftentimes this is the first spark of inspiration. Titles can be found just about anywhere. To help you get song title ideas go to the “Random Song Title Generator“. This songwriting tool will help you find a series of titles randomly generated. Some may seem silly or don’t make sense. But as you go through the list there may be something that appeals to you. Make that your title.  Add this to a new document in your favorite text editor. (more…)

Understanding Chord Symbols

April 12th, 2012 by

Understanding chord symbols is important in songwriting. Here we will cover the topic of  chord symbols and chord construction. While there are many books out there on the market, there is very little explanation of how chords symbols are interpreted. I’d like to share some of my insight with you. In most song sheets chords are given for guitar or keyboard players. Functional names are not used for this purpose. Instead, the root and quality of the chord are given in what may be termed lead-sheet notation (for example, Cmaj and F#min). (more…)