Join Julian Velard for an in-depth discussion in this video Modulation within a progression, part of Music Theory for Songwriters: Harmony.
- We can use modulations within chord progressions as well.…We see this all the time in songs.…Typically a chord progression is used to establish the key,…but every now and then you'll hear a chord…that calls the key into question.…If you're listening for it, it's easy to spot.…It's often the magic harmonic moment in the song.…You may recognize that progression…from the song "Waterfalls", by TLC.…
The harmonic motion of "Waterfalls" is a perfect…example of a chord progression that exists in two keys.…Let's take a look at it again.…So here we have the first chord of G, to a D major.…Which basically tells us we're in the key of G major.…But as soon as we move to the F major chord here,…we know we can't be in the key of G major anymore.…Right? Because there's no F-sharp.…And from there we move to a C, which is the V of F major.…
So with four chords, we've moved through two keys.…There are many progressions that utilize…multiple key centers in popular music.…The V dominant chord of a key serves the greatest role…
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