The “Songwriter Chord” –Are You Using It?

Want to make your songs contemporary but also not lose that classic feel of great songs? Follow along as Clay Mills shares his secret weapon –the songwriter chord.

This two-fingered major and minor 10th chord voicing has  been used on many mega hits throughout the history of recorded music.

So, Grab an instrument, your idea pad, and get some pro inspiration for your next song…

This video is about 7 minutes long and you’ll want to try these ideas as soon as it’s over!

Clay plays a guitar but he’s also included piano examples as well as he discusses 5 songs from the Beatles to James Bay to Katy Perry. You’ll learn a common thread that ties all these decades and genres together –The Songwriter Chord.

Write on!

Songs Using The Two-fingered “Songwriter Chord” Voicing (10th)

“Black Bird”- The Beatles

“Fast Car” – Tracey chapman

” Hold Back The River” – James Bay

“California Gurls” – Katy Pary

“Not Over You” – Gavin Degraw


Clay Mills is co-founder of SongTown and a 16-time ASCAP hit songwriter. He has 2 Grammy nominations and is the co-author of  The Songwriter’s Guide To Mastering Co-writing. 

6 thoughts on “The “Songwriter Chord” –Are You Using It?

  1. Clay, I really think that in addition to everything you pointed out that playing these two note guitar stab chords rhythmically allow songwriters to sound more contemporary, especially with respect to today’s radio songs. Thomas Rhett and others use these all the time, so using them are also a nice shortcut into sounding contemporary today.

  2. O.K., I’m sold! I pulled my copy of TheGreatest Guitar Songbook off the shelf and checked out the recording transcription of “Blackbird” and the whole song was played in “songwriter chords” I didn’t know what I was looking at-or playing…..Thanks Clay!

  3. Clay always imparts valuable insights into great songwriting. Equally important to what he’s telling us is what he’s not telling us. Once you figure that out, you’ve discovered how great his teachings really are.
    Thanks again, Clay!
    Billy B.

    Would love to have you critique some of my tunes in the future : )

  4. Great info Clay.I have an original song with basically 2 chords and throw in the third chord for the bridge.

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