Lessons in Songcraft from Kenny Rogers

Courtesy of Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries.

Lesson 1: It’s about the song, not about you, so collaborate.

Real artists write and play their own songs.

Lesson 2: Tag melodic phrases with a two-note lick for embellishment.

“She Believes In Me” by Kenny Rogers

Lesson 3: Modulate a half step up to keep the song fresh.

“Coward Of The County” by Kenny Rogers

Lesson 4: Songs don’t have to be about romantic love.

Lesson 5: Don’t sing the notes. Be the character.

“The Gambler” by Kenny Rogers…Bonus! Can you spot the modulation discussed in Lesson 3?


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