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.
The relationship between math and music extends to many elements of both, and studying one can lead to success in the other. If nothing else, the connection is an interesting one to explore. Read the post.
Study up on the Mixolydian Mode, queue up a nice Mixo chord progression, and you’ll see why guitar masters like Eddie Van Halen, Angus Young, and Duane Allman all love Mixo-Dorian Blues. Read the post.
In music, a mode is a formula for creating a musical scale. The Ionian (major) formula is W–W–H–W–W–W–H. The Lydian formula (W–W–W–H–W–W–H) can give your melody or progression an uplifting and yearning feeling. Read the post.
While the mediant (iii chord) isn’t as structurally integral as the tonic, dominant , or subdominant, employing it can provide an unexpected surprise that will make listeners’ ears perk up every time. Read the post.
A touch of exoticism could be all you need to lift your song up from the mundane. The flat-second, a.k.a. Neapolitan chord, can be just the ticket. Read the post.
Few popular songs meld music, lyrics, and theme as potently as the Beatles’ 1965 hit single, “Help!” Here’s how they did it. Read the post.
There are a lot of factors that play into choosing the right arrangement for a song — but choosing the right key for you and the musicians might be the most important. Read the post.
Suspended chords offer more than just a frilly little something to add to your music. They work as substitution chords, they can smooth out chord progressions, and they can add tension to your music. Read the post.
These songs from decades past show us that, really, more is less. Let’s explore the magic of the bVII-I progression and how two chords can make a song. Read the post.
While it might be difficult to keep a song interesting if you limit it to one chord, it can also help create tension, highlight your lyrics, or drive a hypnotic groove. Read the post.
Augmented chords can add drama and tension, as shown in these examples from popular songs from the ’60s through the ’80s. Read the post.