I teach a class called Advanced Functional Harmony. The purpose of the class is to teach students not how to do chord substitutions but rather how to ignore the basic harmony almost completely and replace it with something better.
Triads are sort of the basic building block of homophony, which is a technical term for the dominant way that harmony has been used in Western music for the past few centuries. They are useful without doubt; you can play most any song with triads.
A few years ago, I posted this video that discusses how to reharmonize “Silent Night.” If you have not seen it, you might enjoy it. I was watching it and noticed that I would still do these things today. I do not know if that means I have not learned anything in 3 years or not!
On my next recording, I am including several newer songs, some of which are written by friends of mine. Two of them, Christ Anderson and Greg Habegger, collaborated on “I Run To Christ.” From a musical standpoint, there is a lot to like about this hymn. The most obvious thing is its natural shape, or […]
I often talk about how one of the highest goals of your music should be beauty. On the other hand, I spend a lot of time talking about harmony that is in itself, very dissonant. If this seems a bit inconsistent to you, I can understand. Today, I want to talk about dissonance and why […]
I was planning to go on to something else this week. However, during the past week, I have heard from several people asking me about the chord chart that I provided last week. Some questioned whether you can really use all of those chords when you have a C as the melody note. Below I […]
I hear from a lot of readers who ask me to cover particular things in these lessons. One of the most popular requests is how to do chord substitutions. I always explain that I am getting there but have not really built a foundation in these lessons to tackle that subject yet. I plan on […]