Join Julian Velard for an in-depth discussion in this video The octave, part of Music Theory for Songwriters: The Fundamentals.
- You can use any instrument to help you…understand songwriting and music theory.…But no instrument's physical layout is better suited…to the task than the keyboard of the piano.…Within its black and white keys we find…all the notes contained in Western music,…in ascending order from left to right.…And unlike other polyphonic instruments,…meaning instruments able to play more than one note…at a time, each note on the piano…is represented and played by a separate key.…This is not the case with guitar,…or other stringed instruments,…as you can play the same note on different strings.…
This feature of the piano keyboard…lends itself to clarity when discussing…the almost limitless possibilities of harmony.…And also, it doesn't hurt that the piano keyboard…is the most commonly available type of MIDI controller,…and for as little as $50 you can plug in a small one…to your computer and interface…with any music program out there.…While most pianos have 88 keys,…and electronic keyboards can have as few as 12,…the structure is always the same.…
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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