Songwriting Analysis: Alice in Chains “Man in the Box”

“Man in the Box” in my mind is the prototype of Alice in Chains.  The earliest example of their very distinct sound/style.  How do they conjure up their signature heaviness?  From the songwriting point of view, here are some elements we can observe: Impressively succinct main riff that utilizes 3-2-3 …

Songwriting Analysis: What Makes “O Come O Come Emmanuel” Such an Enduring Classic

Happy Holidays!  This season bring special attention to music for those of us living in societies influenced by Western traditions.  Of the many carols that return year after year, “O Come O Come Emmanuel” has been one of my favorites.  Probably because I’m a sucker for sad songs, but this …

Songwriting Analysis: Green Day “Boulevard of Broken Dreams”

As a song out of the American Idiot story line, this one had a definitive mission: to paint the color of loneliness.  Of excruciating, everlasting loneliness.  And the resolve to keep going despite. Dramatic stuff, and Green Day pulls it off with gusto.  Observe these songwriting techniques here: Repetitive melodic figures applied …

Learn Fundamental Songwriting Techniques from Oasis’ “Wonderwall”

Oasis “Wonderwall” is a very simple and straight forward song, and thus an excellent example for mining songwriting fundamentals for songwriters early in their development.  Really, it’s not necessary to incorporate fancy moves like key and tempo changes for a song to be impactful.  Let’s look at the basics evident …

Songwriting: The Drama of Red Hot Chili Peppers’ “Dani California”

Red Hot Chili Peppers’ songs are usually harmonically fairly straight forward, but they inject ample character into their performance to make the songs distinct.  That being said, after such a long and fruitful career, they know how to write RHCP songs.  Here are the three techniques discussed in this lesson, …