Join Julian Velard for an in-depth discussion in this video A song in a minor key, part of Music Theory for Songwriters: Harmony.
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- So now I'm going to take some of the concepts…I showed you, minor scales and relative major…scales, and I'm going to show you how you…can use them in a song with one of my own…compositions, called Must Have Been Somebody Else.…The song is in C minor and you're going to notice…it has a real minor feel to it by the opening lick.…And then for refrain, I'll move…to the relative major of E flat major.…Then I'm going to end the song with the beginning…of the bridge which is going to have a chord…that's going to feel a little bit strange to you…and really what I'm going to do is tease…a concept called modulation.…Something we'll look at a bit later on.…
Here we go.…(piano music)…♫ I've been listening for your footstep…at my door.…♫ I've done this kind of thing…♫ a thousand times or more.…♫ And after every time, I tell myself…♫ it's over, that it doesn't feel right,…♫ It wasn't that funny but she…♫ laughed all night…♫ Just like we been buddies,…♫ No, what about before?…♫ You must have been somebody else.…
♫ My head is filling up…
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