Even if one were to limit himself to an examination of pop songwriting over the last 40 years, a true instructional “guide” would take up many volumes, as it would involve a serious study of musical theory. Our aim here is to prove a sampling of common chord progressions that you can use with your own songs, and to examine some of the things a guitarist can do to add a little zip to his or her songs.
Here’s a gorgeous cascading song from Matt Turk that appears on his upcoming album Cold Revival, due out October 7. “Cracked Egg” has stark lyrics and pounding rhythms that add to the angst conveyed by this talented artist. The song builds to frenzied realization of a shattered love.
Think about it. You’re camping with friends. Just hanging out having a good time. You pull out your guitar for a little jamming’ action and just as you’re getting into it, a rabid bat swoops out of nowhere and bites you on the neck!
Here’s a rare acoustic gem from Queen’s now legendary Queen at Wembley video release. Freddie Mercury and Brian May take the stage for a moving performance of “Love of My Life,” while rain pours down on the Wembley crowd. The clip was filmed on July 11, 1986. The studio version of the track appears on Queen’s classic LP, A Night at the Opera.
More and more guitarists are using gig bags, and it’s easy to see why. They weigh less than hardshell cases and the idea of a lighter guitar load is certainly enticing. But the main reason so many players have opted for gig bags is that, thanks to straps, they can be worn on the shoulder or back.
Fills, those brief instrumental runs that occupy the spaces between vocal lines, no doubt have their origin in the call-and-response vocal tradition associated with country blues, gospel, work songs and field hollers. On records, guitar fills can be overdubbed, but you can enhance both your rhythm playing and soloing by learning to alternate seamlessly between steady chord patterns and well-placed melodic phrases.
I’m listening to Eliot Bronson’s “Comin’ For Ya North Georgia Blues” late at night in my dimly lit living room. Perhaps not the best setting for this rollicking eye opener. Bronson knows how to deliver some fantastically fun music with solid arrangements and clever lyrics. But he can also produce that magic that pulls all of these elements into a brilliant barn burner of a track.
There have been a ton of articles and posts published lately about the dire straits of the music industry. And most of them have several good points. But is it all woefully bad? Should we just throw in the towel? If you think so, then just move along and let someone else read this article.