Songwriting Principle No. 6: All Song Elements Must Work TOGETHER

November 2, 2014

The Essential Secrets of Songwriting Blog

Many songwriters become fixated on one aspect of a song, to the detriment of the others. In my experience, more songwriters worry about their chord progressions than anything else. If you find chords hard to come up with, that fixation may make sense. But the most important element of a song may not actually be any one aspect, but how those different elements work together. It’s possible to have a great melody, accompanied by great chords and with a great set of lyrics, but have it all fall flat if those different parts are working against each other. It’s what Songwriting Principle No. 6 is all about:

The shape of a melody must be planned with vocal range, harmony, and text in mind.

The principle is all about avoiding what we call counterintuitive writing. The problem arises when the melody is trying to evoke one emotion while the lyrics and harmonies are trying to…

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