Changing Key, and Then Changing Back

November 13, 2014

The Essential Secrets of Songwriting Blog

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Piano Keyboard - Chord SubstitutionsChanging key in the middle of a song is one way you can boost musical energy. More often than not, you’ll move the key higher, since downward-moving key changes are tricky to do as they tend to sap momentum. There are lots of options available when deciding where in a song to change key. But most of the time, it’s during the second half of the song that you’ll find works the best. A key change during the bridge or instrumental solo (Springsteen’s “Hungry Heart”), or as a setup of the final chorus repeats (Michael Jackson’s “Man in the Mirror”) works really well.

Another great idea is to consider doing the verse in one key and the chorus in another. Doing so, however, presents you with a problem to solve: how do you move…

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