Join Julian Velard for an in-depth discussion in this video What you should know before watching this course, part of Music Theory for Songwriters: The Fundamentals.
- I've designed this course to be for beginning songwriters and for those of you who want to fill in any gaps in your music theory knowledge. You don't have to have any prior understanding of music theory coming in, although it's certainly helpful. Also, I won't be teaching you to read and write music. That said, I will be using terminology consistent with chord charts in pop and jazz music. This will help you comprehend the concepts and enable you to better communicate with other musicians. I'll also play musical examples throughout on the piano, and I'll be using various graphics and animations to underscore and support key learning points.
For those of you familiar with music notation, I'll provide examples of written music and guitar tablature. The notation is also there for those of you who want to become more familiar. And I'll be referencing quite a few popular songs as examples of the music theory concepts we'll be covering. I encourage you to listen to recordings of these songs as you follow along with the course.
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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