Join Julian Velard for an in-depth discussion in this video Chord extensions, part of Music Theory for Songwriters: Harmony.
- With 7th chords, we added the 7th note to a triad,…to add more complexity to the sound of a chord.…With chord extensions,…we take the Tertian concept of building chords,…which is the stacking of 3rds to build chords,…to its next logical step, past the 7th and the octave,…and up to the 9th, 11th,…and 13th degrees of a scale.…These three chord extensions are commonly…referred to as the color tones.…The color tones don't give any vital information…to the harmonic function of a chord,…but serve rather to expand…the flavor or color of the harmony.…
In chords with four notes or more,…the root 3rd and 7th define the chord,…telling us if it's major, minor or dominate.…For example, if you look at a C major 7,…(plays)…the only notes that are essential to the chord,…are the root, the 3rd and the 7th.…(plays)…We still have that major 7 sound,…without the 5th.…(plays)…Here it is with the 5th. (plays)…Here it is without. (plays)…You see how we still have the major 7 sound?…In this sense, the 5th is typically…considered to be a color tone.…
In this installment, musician Julian Velard digs into more intermediate-level music theory topics. Starting with minor scales, he shows examples of classic songs in minor keys, and then explores the modes of the diatonic scale (e.g., the mixolydian mode). Next, Julian dives into chords with 4 or more notes, covering 7th chords, chord extensions (e.g., 9ths, 11ths, and 13ths), suspended chords, diminished chords, augmented chords, and inversions. Finally, he covers key centers, modulations, pedal points, alternate bass notes, and polychords. At the end of each chapter, Julian explains the techniques shown within the context of his own original songs.
- Working in minor scales
- Using Dorian, Phrygian, Lydian, and Mixolydian modes to write songs
- Extending chords
- Using 7th chords in a song
- Transposing a song
- Building different harmonies from a single melody