Join Julian Velard for an in-depth discussion in this video Changing the bass note of a chord, part of Music Theory for Songwriters: The Fundamentals.
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- Thus far, we've explored the ways…we can voice the chord progressions…by taking the three notes of a triad…and moving them the smallest distance possible…to achieve other chords.…This method treats each voice of a harmony…as if it's a melody.…There is one voice we haven't used…this technique with, and that's the bass voice.…I've already introduced the concept…of doubling the root of a triad…to create a bass part as a functional voicing.…Typically in popular music, this bass part…is played by an electric bass, acoustic bass or a synth.…
It can also be played by other instruments…that occupy this register,…like the tuba and brass ensembles,…or the bass singer in four part vocal harmony.…In the instance of a singer-songwriter…accompanying him or herself on guitar or piano,…the bass part is typically included…in the voicings of the chords,…much like I've been demonstrating…with my left hand thus far.…In Western music, the notes of the bass part or voice,…are typically used to provide a counterpoint…or counter melody, that serves to outline…
Professional musician Julian Velard starts the course with the building blocks of harmony: notes, scales, intervals, chords, inversions, and basic chord progressions. He then goes into voice leading—showing how to move from one chord to another by changing just one or two notes—and reviews common song forms, from the familiar verse/chorus/verse of pop to the simple verse of the blues. At the end of each chapter, Julian explains the songwriting techniques shown in the chapter within the context of his own original commercially released songs.
- Understanding scales, intervals, and keys
- Triads or three-note chords
- Triad inversions
- Common major-scale chord progressions and cadences
- Voice leading
- Song form elements such as verse, chorus, bridge, hook, and more
- Using common song forms in songwriting
Skill Level Beginner
1. The Building Blocks of Harmony
2. Triads and Chord Progressions
3. Chord Progressions and Voice Leading
4. Song Forms
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