Join Julian Velard for an in-depth discussion in this video The color tones, part of Music Theory for Songwriters: Harmony.
We refer to the ninth, eleventh, and thirteenth,…as well as the fifth in many cases,…as color tones.…They add harmonic color to chord…Rather than spelling out every single chord…that uses these tones,…I'll briefly discuss each color tone…and the different variations of them.…In order to give it some context,…instead of citing popular songs…for every example,…when appropriate, I'll show how each…color tone could appear in a…common progression we've already looked at:…The two, five, one.…
And for further clarity,…I'll always build the one chord of the two, five, one…on a root of C.…I'll do my best to voice these as clearly as possible,…but keep in mind there are many, many ways…to voice extended chords.…While I'll be showing all these chords voiced…solely on the piano,…I could just as easily spread the notes…out across various instruments or…even the human voice.…One way to use this approach in a song…would be to play up to the seventh of a chord…on the piano,…and then sing one of the color tones…in the melody.…
Here's a C major 9 chord.…
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