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How to write a pop song using AI

Writing a chord progression is the starting point for a lot of musicians, but traditional methods mean knowing all about keys, major and minor, and which chords work in which keys and which don’t. Fortunately, AI means that you don’t need to know any of that anymore. Apps such as Amadeus Code, the artificial intelligence powered songwriting assistant, can do it all for you.

You can either start with a track you like, by using the Discover feature or search for your favorite artists to hear how a real track sounds through Amadeus Code. The selection of artists still limited at the moment, though. You can then head over to the Song tab and swipe up to get an unlimited number of complete songs inspired by real artists, written by AI.

The songs sound like children’s TV show themes at first. The idea is that you take the raw ingredients here and use it to create your own song. All the pieces are created for you (key, chord progression, melody, tempo), it’s just up to you do put it into practice. It’s kind of like paint by numbers, for songwriting.

Another good chord progression tool is Autochords. The app is nowhere near as slick as Amadeus Code, but the basics are there to get the job done. First, choose your feel and key. You can choose a range of musical genres from cliché to creepy to wistful. You can also select between piano and guitar, as the instrument on which the chords will be displayed.

If you don’t know anything about chords and keys, just chose at random, it’s not really important at this stage, and you can always change it later with trial and error.

You can get the chords for either piano or guitar (shown here). / © AndroidPIT
The main progression will be generated, along with several alternatives. You’ll probably want to use the main chord sequence for your verse, and the alternatives will make great choruses or can be used as your bridge. Have a listen and choose the ones you like. Not all the chords given were in key when I tested this but, as always with music, if it sounds right, then it IS right.

Both Amadeus Code and Autochord are only available on iOS at the moment, but there are options for those of you who don't own an Apple device and would prefer to use your browser. ChordChord is one of the simplest and most effective tools online at the moment. It will randomly generate a chord progression in a random key, set the tempo and even add an arpeggio part as well as drums.