Complete Beginner's Guide to Songwriting | Chris Murrin | Skillshare

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Complete Beginner's Guide to Songwriting

teacher avatar Chris Murrin, Fingerpicking Guitar Lessons

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.

      Complete Beginners Guide to Songwriting


    • 2.



    • 3.

      It ALL Starts with the Major Scale


    • 4.

      How Do We Build Chords?


    • 5.

      All The Chords in C Major


    • 6.

      Let's Start Writing!


    • 7.

      C Major's Biggest Hits


    • 8.

      G Major Scale


    • 9.

      G Major Harmonised


    • 10.

      G Major Progressions


    • 11.

      G Major Famous Songs


    • 12.

      D Major Scale


    • 13.

      D Major Scale Harmonised


    • 14.

      D Major Scale Progressions


    • 15.

      D Major Famous Songs


    • 16.

      A Minor Scale


    • 17.

      A Minor Scale harmonised


    • 18.

      A Minor Progressions


    • 19.

      A Minor Famous Songs


    • 20.

      7th Chords


    • 21.

      7th Chords Progressions


    • 22.

      Sus Chords


    • 23.

      Slash Chords


    • 24.

      Add9th Chords/Final Thoughts


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About This Class

In this 1h15m course, Chris shows you how you can write great sounding songs with just a tiny amount of music theory. You'll learn what chords go well together and how to write progressions like the pros in both major and minor keys. To help with creating your own songs the course uses many examples of famous tunes that have used this exact same approach. Stop fumbling around and hoping to find the right chords with trial and error, and learn exactly which ones work together!

By the end of the course you will have a great understanding of chord harmony and you'll be able to write the songs you've always wanted to compose.

Sign up now and become the writer you've always wanted to be.

Meet Your Teacher

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Chris Murrin

Fingerpicking Guitar Lessons


Hello, I'm Chris.

I'm an acoustic guitarist/professional music teacher and incredibly happy to be here on Skillshare. The first course I've uploaded is for people that are brand new to fingerpicking and it teaches you how to develop great techniques that will ultimately allow you to play any fingerpicking song with the correct fingering.

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Level: Beginner

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1. Complete Beginners Guide to Songwriting: Hey, I hope you're doing good. I'm Chris and welcome to my complete beginners guide to songwriting guitar chords. In this course, I'm going to show you how you can go from knowing absolutely nothing about songwriting, to being able to write a great song in no time at all. I'm talking within 10 minutes or so by the end of this course, you will know how to write a really good song that's got an intro, a verse, a great chorus, middle A, and an ending. That's what this course covers. A little bit of music theory goes very long way. That's what we're going to do inside the course. We're going to take just a tiny amount of it and we're going to use it to run many great chord progressions. The last time I remember how hard it is to know what chord goes with other chords. I spent so many hours fumbling around trying to find the right chords. We're going to get rid of all of that. You're going to learn which chord with what other chord and how to write really great chord progression and string them all together to write great songs. we're going to cover a few simple keys, both major and minor. We are going to be able to write happy songs and sad songs all different songs. We're also going to take some examples of really famous songs. We are going to look at the music theory inside of that and then we're going to take that and apply it to our own writing. All you need to do in order to be successful with this course, is to know how to play your open position chords, down this end of the neck and have a strong desire to want to write great songs. If you have those two things, then you're good to go. Why don't you sign-up today and become the song writer that you've always wanted to be. 2. Intro: Welcome along to my Complete Beginners Guide to Songwriting guitar course. I just want to say before we get started, thank you so much for joining and signing up for this course. I really hope that you enjoy it and that you get an awful lot from it. I honestly think that you will, I think that the course is fantastic and you've got so much to learn here if you're still reasonably even brand-new to songwriting. We're going to cover so much great stuff, and I guarantee that by the end of this course, you'll be able to write great sound in songs in such a small amount of time. I'm talking five, 10 minutes, you should be able to string together some chords that you know, we're going to sound fantastic. I'm here to help you out. If you have any troubles throughout any part of the course, please get in touch and I'll be very happy to help you out as best as I can. But anyway, thanks again and then start learning. 3. It ALL Starts with the Major Scale: It always starts with the major scale. Understanding the major scale is going to help you out so much when it comes to songwriting. Because what you can do is, you can actually turn that scale into chords and then you can stimulates chords together, and that's how we write the songs and how we know what chords go with what other chords. I know what you're thinking. I don't want to learn any scales, but honestly the major scale is very, very important. We're just going to look at C major scale and in this lesson, we're just going to play it. But then as you work your way through the course, we're going to do so much more than that. We're going to turn it into cords, turning integrate chord progressions and use it as a tool to write songs. In my opinion, you have great difficulty writing songs if you don't know the major scale. It's really important. In this lesson, we're just going to cover the C major scale on how to play it. Please learn it very, very, very well. How to play the C major scale? Sounds like this, and that goes over just a sicko. Now, before we even start learning how to play it, I'm going to tell you the nodes in the C major scale. Now, grab a pen and paper and follow through with the sheets that I provided for you. The nodes in the C major scale are: C, D, E, F, G, A, B, and C. C, D, E, F, G, A, B, C and it's a really nice friendly scale, because there's no sharps and there's no flats in it. That's why we're going to deal with C major a lot throughout this course. Memorize those nodes, and now let's learn how to play it. Down here, we're going to start with that third finger on the third fret of the A string. That node is C. Then we're going to play the D string just outrun. That last D, of course. Then the second fret of the D string, that's node A. You've got C, D, E and then we're going to play the third fret of the D string and that F is at third finger. I'm going to open G. Of course, that node is G. You've got C, D, E, F, G, and then the second fret of the G string, that's A. Open B and then first fret of the B string and that node C. You've got C, D, E, F, G, H, A, B, C. Please, before you move on any of the other lessons, you must learn this scale really, really, really well because we've got to use it. This is going to be the chord absolutely everything that we do. Please, please, please learn it well. I'll see you in the next lesson. 4. How Do We Build Chords?: Now you're familiar with the C major scale and you can play that. The next step is to learn how to turn each of the notes inside the C major scale into chords. We said that all the notes in C major scale are: C, D, E, F, G, A, B, C, and I've set it already, but it's crucial that you really understand that well. We could get the notes, but we can also give the notes numbers or degrees. We call them degrees. C is degree 1, D would be degree 2, E is degree 3, F is degree 4, G is degree 5, A is degree 6, B is degree 7, and then C is degree 1 again. You can number the notes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and I don't want this, the songwriting course to be too heavily theory based. I'm going to try to avoid getting too technical, but just a little bit of theory because a very long way. I'm going to try our best to explain it simply as I can. Anyway, we know the C major scale, we know the notes in the C major scale and we know those notes are numbered 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and then back to one, and they're called degrees. Of each degree of the scale, we can build a chord, and this is great. From the C, this first note here, what we do to build a chord is, we'll take the first note, the first degree and then we'll skip over the second degree and we'll take the third degree, that will be E. Let's take C is one, D, E is two, you put those two together. We got C and E so far. That's degree 1 and degree 3. The other degree that we're going to take is not four but five. You can just do it on your hands and you can say, well, I know you take degree 1, C, D, E, 3, F, and G. G is the five. We could put the five in there which would be the Gs' so we're gone. One we'll take that two, D miss that, three we'll take that put all those together. We've got C and E is so far. Then S4, we don't want that but we do want five, which is the G, and that gives us our C major chord, C, E, and G. We play a full C chord. We've got the notes of C, A, and then G. Then this first finger is another C and then the higher string is another E. In this C chord, which you're probably familiar with, we've got two Cs, two Es and one G. That's how we build a C major chord. Don't worry if this goes over your head too much, but just rewatch it as many times as you need to. What you can do now is you can take that same approach and you can do it on every degree of the major scale. If we do that on the next degree, which would be C could go on to D. Always take a note, miss the note, grab the next one, take it, miss it. Always the first, third, and the fifth. Then that's going to give you the chord. Let's do that. If we start this time on the D, which is the second degree, D significant is to enhance D, E, don't want that, F take that, G you don't want that and A, you take that. You've got D, F, and A. Look, the C major scale starting from the D string, D, E, F you want that G, you don't want that and A, you want that. That will give us a D minor chord. This is a D minor chord. If we examine the notes in our D minor chord, we've got open D string, then we go to A on the G string. You've got D, on the B string and F on a the high E string. All the notes there, D, F, and A. There the notes inside D minor chord. Now you can continue this for every degree of the major scale and this is how we harmonize the scale. If you don't harmonize means, it means 10 inter chords. You can do this for each degree of the scale. If you follow through with the worksheet that's provided, you can see that you can learn all of them there, and then that's how you work out the chords. That's quite a lot to take on board there. If it goes straight overhead, don't worry, just watch it as many times as you need to, or just come back to it later on, you'll still get by perfectly fine if none of this made sense. But anyway, let's move on. 5. All The Chords in C Major: With that tricky bit of music theory out the way, we could move on. Now, hopefully, you understand where all the chords that we play come from. They come from scales, and this is one of the many reasons why scales are just so important. Anyway, once we've harmonized each degree of the major scale, these are the chords that you're left with C is degree one, D minor is degree two, E minor is degree three, F is degree four, G is degree five, A minor is degree six, B diminished is degree seven. If you don't know what that B Diminished chord is, it's like this, so I'm playing the second fret on the A string, the third fret on the D string, using my second finger, the third finger is going to play the third fret of the B string, and my little finger again, is going to play another B note here, the same as this one on the G fourth fret. That's B diminished. Now, they're all the chords in the key of C major. Here's the C Major scale again. Then, this is what it sounds like if we play those chords in order. What you want to do now is, of course, learn all of the chords, C major, D minor, E minor, F, G, A minor, and B diminished. Learn all those, learn how to play them, get very, very, very, very comfortable with them, and then what we can do is we can start turning those into some really nice chord progressions. That's what we're going to do in the next lesson. 6. Let's Start Writing!: So along with learning how to play all of the chords in order, you just want to remember because you can do this to any major scale and we are just using a series of nice example, as I said because there's no sharps and flats, we will be moving into new keys later on. You want to remember the order of the major and the minor chords. So remember C major, D minor, E minor, F major, G major, A minor, B diminished and then back to C. So remember that it goes major, minor, minor, major, major, minor, diminished. Okay. You must remember that. Remember though, one degree one is always major, degree two is always minor, degree three is always minor, degree four is always major, degree five is always major, six is always minor and seven is always diminish. Okay. Grab a pen and paper and make sure that you learn that but just completely of my heart, you must learn that off by heart. But anyway, moving on, what we're going to do now is we're going to start having some fun. Okay. Hopefully the theory make sense and we're going to start putting these chord into some really common chord progression and you're here straight away and you think, oh, I've heard that so many times. Now you know why. There are no rules here, I'm going to show you some examples but I want you to create some of your own as soon as this lesson is over. You can jumble up the chords in any order that you want. In this first example, if you follow along with the sheet music provided, well, I'll play it to you. Chord C,F,G,C once more. In case you're wondering, yes, I'm using a pick. But if you don't want to use a pick, being that this is a finger picking website, of course, you don't have to use a plectrum, if you'd rather not. But for strumming, sometimes I like to use a pick. Anyway. I played C,F,G and then back to C. Now before even playing those chords, I knew that that would work well together. I'm sure you've probably played those chords before anyway and you realized that they sound good together. But now you know why they sound good together. Because C is degree one of the major scale, of the C major scale. F is degree four because you have, C,D,E,F and is F major. Degree four is always major and then we went to G major chord, C, D, E, F, G, which is degree five. We know that's going to work and then back to the one. We would call this a one, four, five chord progression. It's one of, if not, the most common chord progressions we hear in popular music. Since way, way back for centuries, it's that strong. One, four and five, they like each other very much. Okay. C is the one, F the four, G is the five and then back again. Let's try another one. The next example I do is one, five, six, four. That tells you that I play C for one, G for the five, six is A minor and then four is F. Take a listen. That chord progression has been used in thousands of pop songs. There you go. C is the one, we know it's going to work because it's the one. Then G being the five. We know that is going to work and that is major. A minor is the six because 6 is always minor and then F is the four and of course that's going to work. Okay. Let's have a look at one more example. The next one is one, six, two, five, so it goes. There's one more on the sheets as well and that is one, three, four, seven. So you can hear that awkward to play diminished seventh chord, one, three, four, seven, okay. So that sounds like this. Okay. Diminished seventh chord sounds a bit awkward on its own but almost always goes back to the one chord. There's four examples that I've given you there, of some really common chord progressions for the C major scale. What I want you to do now is take a look at those, learn those and then write some of your own. Before you've even played it, you could just write out some degrees, so you can say, okay, well, I'll play one, five, two, three or I'll play one, six, five, four or any combination that you like and then just play them. Just play them through with any strong passing that you like. That's the very beginning to you understanding how these chords work and to you writing some really great songs. Okay. Let's keep going. There is so much more to learn. 7. C Major's Biggest Hits: What I thought it would be fun to do is to show you some examples of really famous songs that use just the C Major Scale harmonies, so Just chords from the C major scale. The first song we're going to look at is Let It Be by The Beatles. It goes like this. They are the chords for it. It's a huge song. One of the biggest songs of all time. Let's examine the chords. We played C, G, A minor, F, C, G, F, C. We play 1, 5, 6, 4, 1, 5, 4, down to 1. That's an example right there of C-Major Scale harmony at its best, really. The next one we're going to look at is No Woman, No Cry. It's virtually the same as Let It Be. It sounds like this. No woman, No Cry by Bob Marley. It goes C, G, A minor, F. Exactly the same as Let It Be just a slightly different rhythm. Back to C, and here is where it's slightly different, because the F, and then back to C, so C, F, C, and then I played. But that's just the opening, the G chord. Two huge songs that use harmony from the C major scale, and songs are so close, just slightly different rhythms. One last song is Like A Rolling Stone by Bob Dylan. This one goes like this. C, D minor, E minor, F, G. C the one chord, D is the two chord, E is the minus the free chord, F is the four chord, and G is the five chord, so it's just working its way up each degree of the major scale C is the one, D is the two, E is the three, F is the four, G is the five. Three really well-known popular songs that have sold millions and millions of records, it just uses simple harmony from the C major scale. What I'm getting at here is that you can write chord progression, equally as good as these, with everything that we've covered in just a few lessons that we've had already. Keep writing lots of random chord progression using the C Major Scales. Let's move on to the next lesson when you're ready to. 8. G Major Scale: You can write songs called progressions in the key of C Major. The next best thing to do is to start moving it into a few of the key. We are going to look at two new keys. First of all, we are going to look at the G major, key T major, and then we are going to look at the key of D major. We are going to apply the exact same rules as the C major. You are going to have more possibilities, more options, just because now you will be able to do it in a few new keys. The G major scale goes like this. Before we do that, the notes of the G-Major scale are Gs' G, and it has one sharp in it and that sharp is F. The notes are G, A, B, C, D, E, F sharp, and then back to G. Let us go over how to play the G major scale first off, we are going to do two octaves of it, starting on the third fret of the A string. This note is G. Replay there. They would say A, open A. B is the second fret on the A string C is the third fret of the A string, open D, and then E is the second fret of the D string. F shop is the full fret and then upper G. We are going to play the second fret on the G string, that is A open B first fret on the B stream that is C, D which is the third fret on the B, alpha A, F-sharp second fret, and then a G there. 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-1-2-3-4-5-6-7-1. That is the target for this lesson. Learn how to play a C Major scale down each degree of it and yet learned the notes and get the idea of fingers. 9. G Major Harmonised: Now we know how to play the G Major scale. We can harmonize a C Major scale. We know that to harmonize any major scale, you just offer each degree. You build on degree one major, a major chord on degree two, a minor chord degree three, a minor chord degree four, a major chord degree five, six is a minor chord and seven is a diminished chord. We can take that, all we have to do now is build that exact same formula, same structure just from the G major scale. To build one of the G major scale is G. That's going to give us a G major chord. Degree Two of the G-Major scale is A and degree is minor. That's going to give us an A minor chord. Degree Three is B, and three is minor, that gives us, a B minor chord. Degree Four is major, so that's C major, Degree Five is major, and it's D major. Degree Six is minor, and it's E, so E minor. Then Degree Seven is diminished, we get this, F sharp diminished and then back to G. If you build G [inaudible] and show this set of degree for the time being, they just avoid it. As time goes on, you'll get more and more used to it. Don't worry about it if it's really confusing, you can still do lots. We've just agreed one to six. But anyway, here I'm playing, F diminished like this, F sharp, so F sharp is diminished. Have already done the second frame of the E string, the third frame of the A string, and then the fourth frame of the D. Then barring until the second on the G. As I said, it's ultra confusing. Don't worry about it too much at the moment. I just want you to start writing progressions. Not be too stressed out about every minor detail. That is how you harmonize the G Major scale. Next, I said we're going to put it into some really nice core progressions. 10. G Major Progressions: What we're going do now, is we're going to take the progressions that we did in the key of C major, we're going to do them in the key of G. The first one is one, four, five. If you can think back to when we harmonize the C major scale, that gave us the cause of C, F, and G, or in the key of G, it's going to give us the course of G, C and D. G is the one, C is the four, and D is the five. That's going to sound like this. Probably the most common chord progression around. Then after that, we did one, five, six, four. In the key of C that was, C, G, A minor, F. The key of G is, G, D, E minor, C, so it sounds like this. Let's do one more. This time we'll go one, six, two, five. That's one, six, two, five. Now, what you've got to do is just try to raise it so you've got your own chord progression. Go for the ones that I've written out for you in the sheets provided, and just start writing some of your own chord progression in the key of G. 11. G Major Famous Songs: Okay, so let's have a look at some songs, some famous songs that use G-major harmony. The first one is Knocking on Heaven's Door by Bob Dylan. Goes like this. There I played g, d, a minor the first time, so that's 1, 5, 2. Then it goes to g, d, c, so that's 1, 5, 4. So there's one. Then the next one we're going to look at is actually, we're going to pick it, but we don't have to. The song is Sweet Home Alabama. Sweet home Alabama by Lynyrd Skynrd. If you wanted to strum it, the cause would be d, c, g, d, c, g. But they actually pick the chord and it's more like that. But underneath that, they are still just playing d, c, g. That goes to show you what you could do with just a few chords. You don't always just have to strum them, you can pick through them, and we'll be doing more of that later on, don't worry. The other example I've got for you is You Shook Me All Night Long by AC/DC, which goes, which is a great song. That's just a g chord to c chord. It alternates between g and c, and into d, and then it alternates between g and d. That's just a 1, 4, 5, but much more exciting than just playing. [inaudible]. This is an example of what you could do with just a 1, 4, and 5, the most common chord progression around. These are a famous songs. Try writing, just continue to write between each lesson. Take what you've learned in that lesson and just use it to try and write something. It doesn't matter if it sounds good or not, but just keep doing it, and the more you do it, the better your progressions are going to start sounding. It's just going to get better, and better, and better, and better. 12. D Major Scale: Okay, so let's just do one more key, and this key is going to be the key of D major. Let's learn the scale. Now, of course, we're just doing it in one position, but it is possible to play the scale all over the neck. That's something you want to strive to do as well as you get better and better. First of, the notes of the D major scale, are D to D as F sharp in it, just like G major, but there's also a C sharp in it as well. To the one is D, two is E, three is F sharp, and so on. So D is fifth fret here and A string, second fret, to the E second fret of the D. F sharp to four fret of the D string, and then G is the fifth fret of the D string. A is the second fret of the G string. B is the fourth fret of the G. C sharp is the second fret of the B string, and then D is the third fret for the B string. That's one octave up it. You can keep going as well and play E here, fifth fret with B string. With the little finger, you can play sharp, second fret of the high E. You can play G that's the next fret, third fret on the high E. You could play the A there as well, fifth fret and the way back. Then you can also play C sharp to the seven on the fourth fret of the A, B second fret of the A, B and then this A, the fifth fret, there, should you want to. G which is the third fret of the A. F sharp there now you can work your way back up. If you want to you can just play the scale up and down. Is really important that you learn your scales. But really for this course we're just doing it to learn how to harmonize them, so to use that chords. With that, in the next video, we're going to start turning them all into chords and of course, that is some progressions. 13. D Major Scale Harmonised: Okay, so exactly the same as what we've done for the C major and the G Major, but now for the D. So let's turn it into cords, so cords one major that's going to give us D-Major. Cord two is minor, gives us A minor, three is minor as well. That gives us represent F sharp. So F-sharp minor, degree four is major and the G, Okay, degree five is major, that gives us A, degree six minor, the notes B so you get B minor, degree seven is diminished, a C-Sharp, so they go up to here. I would play the same as you did for this B. But just starting on the C-sharp before flat and then we're back, so it sounds like this. Okay. What you'll find is once you start playing around with these different keys, you're going to prefer writing in some than others, especially on the acoustic guitar, they all feel a bit different. They're going to sound a bit different and you will favor others. That's why I'm moving them through the keys. Don't just get stuck in the key of C major, which does happen. People get too comfortable there. We're only doing three keys in this course. But I strongly encourage you though, what you're comfortable with these to venture out and continue working your way through as many keys you can. So after you've done this, perhaps move on to A and then move on to E, and then move on to B and F sharp. Keep going until you go through all of that being a one-step, small steps, small steps, but just keep going. So now you can write chord progressions in three keys. 14. D Major Scale Progressions: Just a few examples of chord progressions that I've come up with in the key of D. The first one, D, G, B-minor, A. That's one, four, six, five. Sounds a lot like More Than A Feeling by Boston. There you go so there's one. Another one, one, three, six, four. Now this is a really lovely one. Another one, D, A, E-minor, G, so it's one, five, two, four. 15. D Major Famous Songs: Three songs that are in the key of D major, the first one is Twist and Shout. Twist and Shout by The Beatles. D, G, A. Look one, four, five there it's again. Another piece was one, across the universe, goes. There I played D, which is the one, B minor, which is a 6, F sharp minor, which is the free, and then I went to an E minus seven, but it's just to me, my record, don't worry, we're going to get into set of chords and chordal extensions soon, but E minus seven, then A dominant seven. That's still O notes from the D major scale. One more example, it's, everybody hurts by R. E. M, and that's a finger picking one, and it goes like this. I'll stop it there. That goes D to G, one to four, it does that a few times, and then E minor. That's the two. Then to A, which is the five. It's pretty examples there. I could give you some many more, but now you've got all the information provided, of course, as always, your own chord progressions. 16. A Minor Scale: Everything up to this point has revolved around the major scale and you might be wondering, "well, this is really, really good, what about if I want to write a song in a minor key? How do I write songs in a minor key?". Well, the good news is, we're going to look at that now and the even better news is that you've done all the hard work already, because the natural minor scale comes from the major scale, it's the same notes just laid out in a different order. For instance, it's a little bit of music theory. We have to get into it. We just have to do it. The A natural minor scale contains exactly the same notes as the C major scale. The notes in the C major scale are C, D, E, F, G, A, B, and C. The notes in the A natural minor scale are exactly the same, but they just start on A and end on A. So you get A, B, C, D, E, F, G, A. It's the same notes, exactly the same notes. There's no sharps and there's no flats, but you started and ended on A as opposed to starting and ending on C. That's the only difference, and you can do this, it's always six degrees away. If we take C Major, we count up six, C, D, E, F, G, A, we get to A. A is what we call the relative minor of C major. That means it shares exactly the same notes. B or E is the relative minor of G major. That means that E minor in natural minor, the scale of E natural minor contains exactly the same notes as a G major scale. G major scale is G to D of F sharp, G, A, B, C, D E, F sharp G, E natural minor is E, F sharp, G, A, B, C, D, and back to E. Then for the key of D, it's relative minor is B minor, a B minor contains exactly the same notes as D major does. I hope that makes sense. You can watch that back as many times as you need to and if you need more help explaining it then just get in touch and I'll help you out. Anyway, the C-major scale, the A natural minor scale is the same as the C major scale, has the same notes. If it has the same notes, that also means it has exactly the same chords. First things first, let's learn how to play the A natural minor scale. As we know the names, so A, B, C, D, E, F, G, A, so that goes A string, B, second fret of the A string, C, third fret of the A string, D, open D, E, second fret of the D string, F is the third fret of the D string, open G, and then the second fret is A, there. That's the notes of the C-Major scale, A natural minor scale. That's what we'll do in this lesson. But in the next lesson, we'll turn it into the chords. 17. A Minor Scale harmonised: Okay, so we now see the same from C major and a natural minor. Therefore the chords are exactly the same as well. So we just start as if we're using the same code. We just start on A minor, so chord one in the key of A natural minor, or in any minor key is minor so we play A minor that's chord one. And then to create two think what's next in the C major scale after A minor C, D minor, E minor, F, G, A minor and then B diminished. So B diminished is our two chord in the key of A minor, so we go, A minor, B diminished. Then the next one will be C, and then it will be D minor, E minor, F, G is to be seven then you'd be back to A minor. As you can see, it's exactly the same codes from the C major scale, but you just start on A minor. So it is a bit confusing when you first hear it or see it, first hear it but after a while, hopefully a light bulb goes off and that makes sense. So if you understand the major scale you don't go through all the hard work, you just need to rewire your brain. Rewire the order of the chords and your way and you can start writing some minor chord progressions. And that's what we're going to do in the next lesson. I'll see you then. 18. A Minor Progressions: Let's just go for the chords in A natural minor once more. The One chord is A minor, the two chord is B diminished. The three code is C major, the four chord is D minor, the five chord is E minor, the sixth chord is F major and the seventh chord is G. So with that, let's start writing a minor song, a sad song. Let's hear what a one, four, five sounds like in a key of A minor. If you remember in a major key, in C, it sounded like this. Let's see what it sounds like in A minor, that's going to give us the chords, of A minor, D minor, and E minor. So one, four, five in a minor key with so much sadder. It would sound like this. Okay, so if you want to write a sad, and doing it in a minor key is one way to do it. It's going to help you out. That's a one, four, five. Let's have a look at another progression. The next one on the examples that I provided is one, five, six, four. So that's A minor, E minor, F, D minor. Let's have a listen. Okay, sounds pretty cool. Sounds really good. Let's look at another example, the next one is one, six, four, five. So it's the same chords as the last time. With just ordered slightly differently. It sounds like this. Okay, one more we're going to go from the one chord to the three chord which is C, the four chord which is D minor. Then the seventh chord, which is, G, that sounds like this. So they're just some random examples of chords, of course what we want you to do now is write some of your own, bear in mind. I'm always strumming these because I feel that it's important for you at this stage just to learn what chords go with each other, to get really familiar with harmonizing each scale and just to get familiar with it. But there's no reason why now that you're starting to get used to them you shouldn't maybe [inaudible] some of the chords and pick through them. Then you can take that same progression and you could pick through and maybe might sound a bit nicer, perhaps. Just to give you some more options in your writing. 19. A Minor Famous Songs: Here's three songs in the key of A minor, free, famous, pretty well-known songs. The first one is save tonight, at nineties head by Eagle-eyed Cherry. It goes A minor, F, C, G. That's 1637. The whole song is just that all the way through and that was a huge hit in the nineties. You can do so much with so little if you just know a little bit of music theory, you can write great couple of questions in no time at all. I hope that you're really sad to see that. The next one, which uses even less cause and has been a big song since the seventies is Stairway to Heaven. They edge of picking part gets quite complex. But it is still using just harmony from the sea, from the natural minor scale. But anyway, I'm talking about the M part where it goes. They're displaying A minor, F, back to G, A minor, G, F,G, A minor. You just go to 176 in the key of A minor. The last one is Californiacation by the Red Hot Chili Peppers, which goes like. It's picking beat he's just arpeggiating an A minor. As you say A minor and then this, it's just arpeggiating an F chord, that's an F chord. Then this picking C, G, F, D minor. All right, soccer based, C, F, G, D minor. They're just picking their way through, not just strumming. It's a bit more exciting. Three examples there of songs that use the harmony from A minor, A natural minor. 20. 7th Chords: Now we've covered a lot already. We've harmonized the C-major scale, the G and the D major scale. We've learned chord progressions of famous songs in all of those and hopefully write a [inaudible] core progressions, and we've done it for minor as well, A natural minor but of course what I want you to do is to go through and try that with the relative minors of D and B, and as many keys as you possibly can. We're still not done yet. We're not going to do any more scales. We're just going to make our chords a little bit more sophisticated and do some code extensions and other ways to make your chord progressions because you've got all the ingredients you need to write chord progressions, but now we can spice up your chords a little bit as well and add in as I say, these chord extensions. Once you are okay with all these triads, you know, C, D minor, E minor, F. You can turn them all into a seventh chord, and this is the next step. Seven chords, they're used all the time and they sound great and when you use right, it can really take your playing chord progression to the next level. They really, really can. If you think back to one of the very first lessons in this course how we created a chord from the major scale. We took the first, the third, and the fifth. Well, we're going to keep those, but we're just going to add the seventh degree. Now I'm not going to get too heavily into theory because I don't want this to be too theory based, I just want you to actionable, straight away, use this, start writing stuff with it. So that's what you're doing to get these chords, you're just adding in the seventh degree. For C major, that's our C major chord, remember the scale? One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, one. Where we took the C, which is the one the E, which is the three the G, which is the five. What's the seven? C, D, E, F, G, A, B. So we can always put the seventh degree in as well. We can put a B in. Where is B? We take that first finger off, this string here is the note of B. That chord is a B major seven chord. You can do that on every chord of all the scales that we have done so far. You can do that to any chord. If you had C major chord, so that turns into C major seven. Then the next chord is D minor, so that becomes D minus seven. The next chord was E minor, so that becomes E minor seven. The chord is F, that's a major chord so that becomes F Major seven. Now the next chord is major, but it's actually a dominant chord. If we count up from the G. One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, we get to this note here and it actually gives us, it's the only one in the scale, G dominant seven. Like this being stretched out to C. Then A minor is to E six, so that becomes A minor seven. Then the last one, which is a bit diminished, if we go one third and add in the seventh degree that actually gives us a chord called B minor seven flat five. That sounds like this. Its actually a bit easier to play than the diminished chord. So you can use that. And that was always really nicely back. You can learn how to play all those chord diagrams on the C's provided. But what we're going to start doing, and what you can do in your own writing is you can use these whenever you want to. That's coming up in the next lesson. 21. 7th Chords Progressions: In the chord provided here, we've got a C major seven, A minor seven, E minor seven, and F major seven. Like that. So this is just using major seven of chords. So they sound a bit more complex, a bit more sophisticated. They're richer in the notes that they use. But anyway, have a listen and see what you think. Now I could have just play C, A minor, E minor and F. But I just had a little bit more sophistication to your playing they are just a little bit jazzier, if you'd like. They're just a bit more complex, that's all. Let's have a look at another one. This one goes C Major seven, D minor seven, F major seven, G major seven. But you don't always have to use them all the time, of course. You can just use one major seven chord, or minor seven, or dominant seven chord, a minor seven flat five chord, whatever one you want to use. A seven of chord, I should have said. In the progression, if it calls for it, if you just want a little bit more. So in the next one, it uses F major seven and also B minor seven flat five. But there is also just a regular C and a regular A minor. So it goes like this. Then the very last one goes C, E minor, D minor seven, G seven. So it's got two seven of chords there and this sounds like this. Now you've learned the seven of chords, it's time for you to try and write some of your own co-progressions and start throwing in some seven of chords. Get started getting used to them. You don't always have to play them, but if it calls for it and it sounds good, then it is good. 22. Sus Chords: Let's keep going with these code extensions. It's called variations and ways to spice up your playing, give you more options in your writing. The next type of chord that I'd like to look at is Sus chords so sus2 chord and sus4 chords. You're bound to have seen these before because again, they are really common. All of this stuff that's in this course, you hear it every day on the radio. It's been around for decades and decades and centuries. It's valuable stuff, is essential stuff that you need to know. Sus4 chords. Now, let's really quickly go over the theory. If we said that to create a major chord, we took the first, third and the fifth of the scale. Well, to get say sus2 chord, we take the first, the second, and the fifth. In the key of C, remember C, D, E, F, G, that's the first five. You'd knock out the three and the four. You'd be left with C, D, and G. That would be C, D, G by that. To get a sus4 chord, you'd take the C knockout the D, knockout the E, and you'd be left with F and G. C, F, and G would sound like that. Don't worry if this still doesn't make sense, you can just follow along the diagrams. I learned the chords that way. There's many opportunities to use these in the key of C major. We could take a C chord, and the first thing we could do, we could play a sus2 chord. To do that, we just put in a D, we just take off our second finger. It sounds like that. You'd want to ideally miss the A string there. You just pull that your first finger down and it will clip it. First is sus2. You can play sus4 chord by putting the little finger on the third thread of the D string. That would give you the sus4 chord. You could see sus2. Sus4. You could also do that on D, D minor. So you go from D minor. You can play D sus2 and that is just like this. Put an E and there. Because E is to D, D, E. D goes in, E goes in. You can play the sus4 where your little finger will govern the G. Why G? Because G is a form of D, D, E, F, G. That will give you that chord. You go in sus C, C sus2 and sus4. D sus2 and sus4. They're very welcome. You could do E sus4 like that as well, which is just like an A chord that is moved down. A is the four of E and that's in the key of C major so that can go in. The sus2 chord here wouldn't work quite so well. I mean, it would but you'd have to take out this note here if you want to do, it's probably just worth avoiding that one there. Because the freeze for an E sus2 is more of a E add nine chord. You could do it, but you'd have to miss out this G here. It's just a bit difficult to grip and I would just avoid that one. You could do F sus2. What's the two of F? It's G. You take that off, F sus2. F sus4 is B flat. The four of F is B flat. As in the key of C, just like the E that I just mentioned, you don't want to do sus4 there, but you can do sus2. You can do G sus4 like this if you play G like this. C here is the four, so you could play that. You could do A sus2 like this. A sus4. All the chords are on the diagrams on the sheets provided. Play for them, get to know them, and then you can just start using them in your playing. There's another example there that I've written out that seeing the key of C and uses lots of sus2 chords and sus4 chords, so that goes like this. You could do that, but I'll show the piece of music, it goes. Just an example there of playing around with them, set of C. Now into A minor, D minor.Then G. Sounds like a mix between ABBA and John Lennon. The Happy Christmas, the war is over there. That's only if you want to hear a song that uses lots of sus chords, go away and listen to that Christmas song. But anyway, so there's sus chords and you can restart playing around with those and they'll do so much for your playing. Don't just strung them. Let's see, I could just take this D minor chord and just start picking and see if I can come up with some melody line or something that sounds nice. Just have a little mess around. See,that was major seven. G, sus4, and C. A minor. C. Just completely messing around there, completely made it at the spur of the moment. But you know that it's going to work. So anyway, sus2 chord, sus4 chord had a lot of fun. Just play around with them for as long as you can. 23. Slash Chords: Something else that you can do to your chord is you can turn them into slash chords. If you don't know what a slash chord is, basically all the chords that you've played so far, all chords that aren't slash chords. Let's say it's C, for example, the lowest note will be the note which is the name of that chord. C, the lowest note here is C. If I play an E minor, the lowest note is E, sorry. If I play F chord, the lowest note is F. If we play a slash chord basically we replace the base note with another note, usually from with inside the scale and that's what we're doing in this lesson. That's what a slash chord is. It's just a chord of a different base. We can do that in many, many ways. Some examples for you, we take a C chord, well, G is in C major scale. This note is G. I could put that in the bass and play a C chord like this and this would be called as C slash G. Hear the sound of that, it's bigger. It's deeper. There's one example there. I could do another one. I could play C. B I could use that note. B is inside the C major scale, this note is B. I could play that, maybe mute out the D string just by putting that finger down. This would be a C slash B. I can play it like C. [inaudible]. It's nice. That's very nice. D minor. Lets move onto another chord, D minor. You could add in the A string here and that will be D minor slash A. You can put the C in the bass and play D minor slash C. D minor slash F here. F is in the C major scale. That's very welcome. E minor. We could do E minor slash B. Just strumming from the A string. E minor slash G, if you wanted to, like actually about the slash F. On the F chord, a four chord of C, We could put a C in the bass. C is obviously in the key of C, like that. You can put the G in the bass as well. You could hold an F like this and put this G in the bass like that. Sounds like that. It's quite cool. A minor. Lets do something about A minor hold it at an A minor chord. We can put this G in the bass here. Or we could put the F in the bass. We can put C in the bass. That gives you a lot of possibilities and just more options to help your songs out. Here's a chord progression that uses some slash chords, I'll play it for you. Once more, like that. What did I play? I Played C, G slash B. That's a G but I'm not playing this one. Play for the B string then I went to A minor. Then it put the G in the bass making that A minor slash G. Then I went to F. Like there's a full barcode I like to use my thumb. Then I open up the E string, making that an F slash E. Then there I went to a D minor and then a G seven. It's a lots of slash chords there. Start playing around. If I didn't like the strummy thing I could of course pick that. Maybe more like that. Very often you'll get slash chords like that. That thing going on there. Experiment movement through the keys. Remember, all it is is that you're replacing the bass note for now with another note from with inside that scale. Sometimes it's going to sound goods. Sometimes it won't sound so good. It's a lot of experimental that you need to do 24. Add9th Chords/Final Thoughts: This is the last lesson and we're going to look at just one more chord type. There are so many more, but we've got to cut it off somewhere. I don't want to give you too much, because I really understand this stuff, experiment. It's so much you can do just with what we've gone through here, but anyway, this last lesson we're going to look at chords could add ninth chords. Really quickly, let's do the music theory for it. All that means is that you take your regular triad set one, three and five, that we've mentioned a few times, but then you'd also add the ninth degree of the scale. If we're doing Cadd9, for example, we're starting on C, D, E, F, G, A, B, C, or that's eight 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8, but the scale doesn't end there. It can keep going. You're just adding the next one, 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9, like that. If you're unsure what the nine is, just use the two because it's exactly the same as that. In the key of C, it's D. In the key of G, it's A. In the key of D it's E, but it's octave higher, so you go up the scale and it's the next one up there. Don't worry if it doesn't make sense. Learn the course I've provided and come back to it later on. Anyway, the Cadd9 chord, is a really lovely code. If you think of C like this, you take a little finger, put it on the third fret of the B, that's the ninth degree. It's the note of D to Cadd9. Just beginning with the C chords, all the C chords that we've done. We've done C, C major seventh, we've done Csus2, Csus4, and now Cadd9. You can play around with those. I played every single chord type there that we've done just for C and it sounded nice. You can use it to write nice melody lines underneath your chords. Moving on, that's Cadd9. It's not going to work so well on the D minor 7th chord in this instance. Again, on the E minor chord, we're not going to go there, because it gives C, that E, the ninth for these F-sharp, and that's not in the key. Focus of the hit, doesn't matter, but on F, we can't do it because the ninth degree of F is G. It's just to regulate G and G is in the key of C major. If we hold down at F, we can take our little finger, put it on the third fret of the high E string, and that's Fadd9. We start F, Fsus2, F major 7th, and Fadd9. You can play around with those. We can do it on a G chord. Gadd9, on two, I'm sorry, it was the Gadd9 for G is an A. That's in the key of C, and we can play Gadd9 like that. Just G chord, and then we add first finger on the second fret of the G. We've done G, we did Gsus4, G 7th, like that, and then A minor add9, this is a really lovely one. The ninth degree of A is B. We don't want to do this, because then we lose the fret. This is an Asus2, we lose the third degree, so you want to keep that one in. This is an A, we can push that up two frets. This is the hardest chord that you've done so far, but probably the most beautiful at the same time. This is one of my all-time favorite chords. I use it way too much. I'm holding down open A, second fret of the D string as E, and then the fourth fret of the G string, that's B, and then the first fret of the B string that note C and then at high E here. A chords, we've A minor, we've done A minor 7th, Asus2, and we've done Asus4 as well and now this really lovely A minor add 9. Cadd9, Fadd9, Gadd9, and then A minor add 9. You can use those, of course, in your writing and I've put a little example down there in the sheet music attach that uses them. This progression goes like this, that's C, Cadd9, C, C major 7, and then A minor add 9, A minor, A minor 7th, A minor, Fadd9, F, F major 7th. This is a Gadd9. Then, instead of playing this B here, I stretch my little finger up by this B here, is the same, so there I put it down third fret on the E string and then four fret on the G, and the third fret on the high E there and then I will back. As you can hear they're really lovely chords. There's also another example, which uses the same chords, I believe, which is finger picking and that goes like this. No, sorry. It's so nice because you've got that melody walking underneath the chords. Yeah, you get the idea? Really, that's about it. It's been an absolute pleasure showing you all this stuff. I hope that you've got a huge amount from it. Hopefully that the light bulbs are really starting to go off or have gone off and that your writing is underway. At the moment, it's all about chords, writing great chord progressions, and studying your scales and they're just growing and growing. Then melody lines will come. Remember, storm, pick, finger pick, think about rhythms and just practice everyday. Try to write a new chord progression every single day, and then in time, they're just going to get better and better. Feel free, if you write something that you're really proud of, but you want me to examine and tell you what I think of it, perhaps give you a little feedback, then send it to me. I'm really happy to help you out, but anyway, thank you so much. I can't say how much I appreciate it and I really hope to hear from you some time. I'll see you in another course and another video somewhere else. Thanks a lot. Bye bye.