I posted a challenge to you guys to name a particular chord in my free arrangement from the other day. This is a big music nerd alert but I am going to talk about that chord today. Here it is (last beat in bar 17) Several people posted their thoughts on this page and by […]
Tag Archives: functional harmony
Three concepts discussed in just 2 bars.
A real-life example of a theory principle.
Someone emailed me a very good question tonight and I thought I would share it along with my answer.
There is really only one thing going on in this arrangement.
My daughter who is five years old plays the violin, and I often write music for her and accompany her. Recently, I gave her a new melody to play and started playing an intro. I was a little surprised to see that she instinctively knew when to start playing. It could have been because she […]
In the past, I have mentioned that rather than discussing single chord changes, I would rather discuss how you can modify chord progressions. Today, I want to introduce another versatile chord progression.It is natural and beautiful for the chords in a progression to move in steps. As a matter of fact, when trying to reharmonize a […]
This lesson covers a very important topic and is quite lengthy. If you find yourself in deep waters, you might revisit previous lessons about how to identify and name chords (look in the “Theory” section here). In modern music, the most popular chord progression is the ii-V7-I. Believe it or not, you can build entire […]
If you are following these lessons in order, you are now working on adding 7ths to your chords. I want you to keep working on that, but need to give you some other information that will help you. Many pianists want to know what chords I use, but they do not understand that the actual […]
In my opinion, understanding music theory is critical if you plan to learn to improvise. If you are already improvising by ear, you can be successful for a long time without ever knowing anything about theory. However, in the long run, you will help yourself by learning the theory behind your music. Over the next […]
Thinking through harmony.