The Beatles Songwriting Academy

I recently discovered a blog devoted to the Beatles’ songwriting techniques written by Matt Blick. It looks like there’s a lot of great stuff on there.

If you’re looking for simple ideas to spice up your songwriting, Beatles-style, take a look at his Tickets to Write section, where he (concisely) describes 47 interesting moves found in the Beatles’ corpus.

Here are a few simple ones, which anyone following my Practical Chord Progression series might find immediately useful:

  1. Use the minor iv instead of the major IV. Try it out; it has a familiar sound that you’ll never hear the same way again.
  2. 
Use the minor v instead of the major V. Again, very simple, but if used well this can generate just the right amount of surprise.

  3. 
Try the Picardy third. That is, when writing in a minor key, move to the major counterpart of your root chord at the end of a section or the entire song. So, if you’re in C minor, end the section on the C major chord. This is another instantly recognizable move, but one that can still be effective if used cleverly.