Tag archives for EXCEPTION

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…)

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  • Songwriter Tip:

    There is a technique in songwriting known as Ôlisting’ or the Ôlaundry list technique’ that when used effectively provide a clever twist. The way it works is to list a series of examples that will clearly lead the listener to your setup line, which in turn leads the listener to the hook in the chorus. The following is an example taken from the song Better Things To Do (Tom Shapiro, Chris Waters and Terri Clark, recorded by Terri Clark. ÒI could wash my car in the rain/ Change my new guitar strings/ Mow the yard just the same/ As I did yesterday/ I don’t need to waste my time cryin’ over you/ I got better things to do.Ó The setup line is in bold.