Join Julian Velard for an in-depth discussion in this video Exploring modulation and pedal point in a song, part of Music Theory for Songwriters: Harmony.
- So no I'm going to show you how…we integrate some of these concepts into a song.…And I'm going to demonstrate with one…of my own compositions, "Automatic".…First, let me show you some of the techniques that I use,…and then I'm going to play the song in its entirety.…The song is in D-flat, and it works off of a dominant pedal,…and it builds suspense almost the entire song that way,…until we finally resolve at the end.…The chords that happen on the dominant pedal of A-flat,…are G-flat major 7, and F minor 7,…and we just go back and forth between inversions.…
And you'll notice during the second verse I modulate,…which actually gives the second verse a different…kind of a feel, and keeps it fresh.…So, let's check out "Automatic".…♫ I'm washing my hands…♫ You're wondering why…♫ You don't understand…♫ How they're gonna get dry…♫ It's automatic…♫ It's automatized…♫ It's automatic with my hands…♫ They automatically dry…♫ There's never a plan…♫ When somebody dies…♫ There's never a plan…♫ It always comes as a surprise…♫ It's automatic…
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