Join Julian Velard for an in-depth discussion in this video Figuring out intervals, part of Music Theory for Songwriters: The Fundamentals.
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- Let's take a quick look at how we discern…the qualities of intervals we find in other keys.…When I first introduced the concept of intervals,…I said that the reference point for determining…an interval's quality is the major scale.…Thus far we've only looked at intervals…that you see as their reference point.…Now that we know the accidentals needed to create…the other eleven major scales,…we should be able to figure out the quality…of any interval we come across.…This distinction might seem trivial,…but when we begin our discussion of chords,…our understanding of intervals and; therefore,…appropriate keys is of extreme importance.…
The more complex the chord structure of a song,…the more our sense of the tonic will be questioned.…Let's jump straight in with some examples.…We'll start with the interval of B flat to F.…(piano notes playing)…To figure out what this interval is,…we'll treat B flat as the tonic…and count up to discern the number value of the interval.…We know from the circle of fourths…that there are two flats in the key of B flat…
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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