Things Every Songwriter Should Know

Singer songwriter at work

The process of writing songs gets more fun the better you get at it.

The more you know about harmony, melody and song form, the better your songs will get.

That knowledge also makes the song writing process much more effective, and hence less tedious.

The feeling you get after you wrote a new song in barely 15-20 minutes, is unreal.
You sit there in awe and wonder listening to the finished song; wondering how you wrote something so beautiful in such a short time.

Following song-writing topics that I teach, will get you there.

These topics boost any student’s songwriting power and abilities instantly.

Following List Shows Some of The Songwriting Techniques My Students Fall in Love With

  1. Theory of chords and scales pertaining to songwriting.

  2. Song Form and structure.

  3. Bar Chords

  4. Hybrid Chords as Passing Chords Creating More Harmonic Flow and Direction.

    Examples of songs:

    a. Intant Karma (John Lennon)
    b. Always a Woman (Billy Joel)
    c. Wonderful Tonight (Eric Clapton)
    d. All The Young Dudes (David Bowie, Mott The Hoople version)

  5. Static Chord With Bass Motion Underneath to Create Motion and Direction.

    Examples of songs:

    a. While My Guitar Gently Weeps (The Beatles)
    b. The Ballad of a Thin Man. (Bob Dylan)
    c. In the intro to Sunny Afternoon (The Kinks), and the bass line underneath the A chords in the verses.

  6. Line Cliches

    Examples of songs:

    a. Cry Baby Cry (The Beatles)
    b. Something (The Beatles)

  7. (Unbarred) Bar chords with open strings added for rich textures.

  8. Pedal Points

  9. Drones


    Joni Mitchell
    Indian music
    Folk Music. (Bag pipes, Irish Folk, etc…)

  10. Ostinato

  11. Modal Interchange

  12. Constant structure

  13. Secondary Dominants

  14. Tritone Substitution V7’s

  15. Dim 7th chords

  16. Open tunings

  17. And so much more.

When you know how to apply all of the above, and you’ve written about 5-6 songs per technique, you’re a huge step closer to being a really great songwriter.

Over time I will post blogs explaining the above techniques in greater detail.
For now: see if you can find the chord charts to the above song examples in the list, or use your ear, and see if you can figure out the chords and learn to play the songs.

The best way to learn about songwriting, is by learning tons of songs from the masters and analyzing what they are doing.
However: learning about harmony and theory speeds up the learning process in songwriting tremendously.

Write Better Songs with The Ultimate eBook On Songwriting

Be on the look out for the songwriting eBook that I’ll publish in the next couple of months.
It will of course explain all the above in great detail.
There will be tons of song examples so you see how the great, famous songwriters use all of these techniques in their songs.

I will keep you posted on the eBook.

You can learn more about songwriting when you click on following titles: How To Write Chords To Your Melodies, Some Scale And Chord Theory and Understanding How Chord Progressions Work.

Be on the look out for more blogs about guitar and these really cool, exciting writing techniques.

Meanwhile: rate this blog and do tell me in the comments section below if you see things I missed, or if you have questions, or need further info about all this, or if you have any feedback. I believe everything can always be improved, and I gladly would implement your suggestions and ideas.

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