Have you ever been confronted with particularily complex chords asking yourself what its’ name was?
Have you ever heard a progression of chords and wondered which is the logic that makes one chord follow another and this succession is particularily pleasing to the listener.
There you go: today we begin our harmony video lessons, where we will discuss chords, trying to better understand their properties and traits to answer these questions you were having.
Why do we begin by discussing chords? There are multiple reasons to this, but the main reason is that most music and most songs lay their foundations on the correct use of chords.
How often have you wondered, after hearing a song that you liked, ‘What chords are these?’ and immediately went searching for them on the internet? I can only imagine this has happened quite a few times, just like it has happened to me and to many other music enthusiasts.
It was correct on your part to give the chords this importance, because once you found them, these chords gave you a solid idea of the song, which subsequently allowed you to play along with an instrument, while you sung the lyrics, and maybe it helped you to better learn the song and get to know it.
But there are other reasons that make chords, but most importantly a deep knowledge of chords, undisputedly important: that’s because chords make up the frame of a song, its’ exo-skeleton, and are also the starting point to being able to arrange a song.
You can clearly see the incredible importance of knowing chords as well as one can.
Keep in mind…
There is a very important aspect of chords, which I would like to introduce in this lesson. In contmporary and popular music, chords are seen, thought of and used as an independent entity, detached from one another.
Let me clear this up: let’s imagine you wanted to write and compose a song and you stumbled upon a progression of chords you liked, such as C major, Am7, Am, Dm, B7-, and so on..
But what is the correlation between these chords?
This is the crucial part of the issue!
Viewing chords as independent from one another and not understanding the link between them, which means what meaning does a chord have in regards to the previous one and the following one, and in general the way it relates to the whole song, is quite an elementary mistake, that often leads down a dead-end road. It also deprives you of a lot of tools that would allow you to fly higher than you usually do while playing.
It’s like fumbling around a dark room searching for the objects we need. We have to understand where the lights switch is, to be able to turn on the light in this metaphorical room and to be able to see everything clearly and precisely, to be able to master these chords and not be their slave.
The lights switch exists, actually there are two, and they have very precise names: these names are SCALE and TONALITY.
These are two fundamental elements, which will allow you, as previously stated, to understand these characteristics of chords:
• where chords come from
• how one can build chords
• what is the correlation between chords in one tonality and with other tonalities
• all kinds of chords, from the simplest to the most complex, will be clear and we will unveil the logic behind them by viewing them in the conctext of scale and tonality.
In the next video lessons we will begin to delve deeper into these subjects which will soon allow you to handle and dominate the world of chords.
The knowledge and the study of these elements are in fact one of the first steps one should take when trying to learn how to work with music, using your rationality and not only your instinct.
Trust me, if you will be able to fuse instinct and rationality together, you will be the holder of an explosive mix of creativity and musical energy!!