Paul McCartney’s basslines are an integral part of the Beatles’ evolution from world-beating pop band to musical pioneers. We identify just what McCartney did to make his parts stand out from what other bassists were doing at the time. Read the post.
While the mediant (iii chord) isn’t as structurally integral as the tonic, dominant, or subdominant, employing its major variation can provide an unexpected surprise that will make listeners’ ears perk up every time. Read the post.
While it might be difficult to keep a song interesting if you limit it to one chord, it can help create tension, highlight your lyrics, or drive a hypnotic groove. Read the post.
Are you a songwriter ready to record your songs but not exactly sure how to go from song idea to music producer? These ideas will get you started. Read the post.
A pedal point can make a standard progression more interesting or ground a complex progression in something familiar. Read the post.
These songs from decades past show us that you can do a lot with just a little. Let’s explore the magic of the bVII-I progression and how two chords can make a song. Read the post
Let’s explore some common — and some of the more obscure — alternate guitar tunings to inspire you to write your next musical masterpiece. Read the post
Suspended chords work as substitution chords, can smooth out chord progressions, and add tension to your music. Here are some great examples of how to use suspended chords in your songs. Read the post
For some extended guitar chords — like a fully voiced thirteenth — there are more notes in the chord than there are strings. That’s where slash chords come in … with a little help from your bassist. Read the post
While Nashville tuning uses the same notes as a standard guitar tuning, used by itself and in layers with other guitars, this tuning can bring an articulate presence to a recording. Read the post.
Eleventh chords can provide lush texture to your songs, but they can be confusing. We’ve got charts and real-world examples to help you better understand these extended chords. Read the post.
The flat-six chord can add drama to your music, and with some exceptions, is best used sparingly in your songwriting. Read the post.
Sixth chords have an inherent lack of identity and purpose that can be riveting — a sixth chord can provide ambiguity, set curiously dark moods, and add a layer of complexity to your music. Read the post.
There are many kinds of ninth chords, and they can be used in different ways. This post explores different kinds of ninth chords and how you can use them, with plenty of examples of their use in popular music. Read the post.
Jazz musicians know and integrate substitution chords on a regular basis, but musicians who play other genres of music can also employ this concept to great effect. Read the post.