How to create Amazing Chord Progressions | Mikael Baggström | Skillshare

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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.

      Your Adventure with Chord Progressions


    • 2.

      What is a Chord Progression


    • 3.

      The Power of Harmony in Music


    • 4.

      Scale, Key & Diatonic Chords


    • 5.

      Going Beyond Triads


    • 6.

      The Voices of Music


    • 7.

      Chords vs Melody


    • 8.

      The Sound of Harmony (Solo)


    • 9.

      The Sound of Harmony (Family)


    • 10.

      Introduction - How to Improve your Chord Progressions


    • 11.

      Create a Groove with Your Chords


    • 12.

      Change Chords within the Bars


    • 13.

      Add Transition Chords


    • 14.

      Use Better Voice Leading


    • 15.

      Use Creative Chord Voicing


    • 16.

      Voice Arrangement per Instrument


    • 17.

      Voice Performance Styles


    • 18.

      Shape Dynamics and Add Movement


    • 19.

      Shape the Main Groove and Accents


    • 20.

      Adjust the Timings and Note Lengths


    • 21.

      Harmonic Motion in your Progressions


    • 22.

      Low End Clarity


    • 23.

      High End Focus


    • 24.

      Voice Weight


    • 25.

      7 Secrets on writing Amazing Chord Progressions


    • 26.



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About This Class

Your Adventure with Chord Progressions

Do you want to become a master of chord progressions and shaping the story of harmonies in your music? Do you want to write, shape and express your chord progressions so that they will inspire your listeners? Are you tired of the simple and boring 1 bar block chords, and using the same old 3-4 chords and variations throughout your entire track?

Then I invite you to go on a journey and adventure to master the true power of chord progressions and harmony in music. You will learn:

  • The Foundations of Chord Progressions

  • Professional Guidelines and Techniques

  • Insights & Secrets from Live Examples

And in the end, you will be able to make music in all types of sound colors and emotions, by using the power of chords, harmony and unlimited ways to express the story of your music. You will be able to enhance the chord progressions and harmonies in your music compositions, and elevate your skills as a music composer!

My name is Mike, and I am a composer.
Just. Like. You. =)

I started making music back in 1998. And I love to educate, motivate, and inspire creative people, like yourself.

So take action now, and become a master of chord progressions in music.

Meet Your Teacher

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Mikael Baggström

Music Composer | Sound Designer | Video Producer


Hey Friends and Creative People!

My name is Mike, and I am a Music Composer, Sound Designer and Artist. I Share my Story, Journey, Experience and Knowledge, to Inspire and Empower Creative People like you. =)


I believe that learning should be fun. I love to bring my personality into my teaching style. I also try to make my courses dynamic, to be more interesting to you. =)

Friendly regards,
Mike from Sweden
Compose | Artist | Educator

See full profile

Level: All Levels

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1. Your Adventure with Chord Progressions: Hello music creators, would you like to become a master of a chord progressions and shaping the story, of course, and harmonies in your music. Do you want to write, shape, and express your chord progressions so that they feel inspiring to your listeners. Are you tired of simple and boring one bar block chords and using the same all the three or four chords and variations throughout your entire track. Then I invite you to go on a journey and adventure to master the true power of a chord progressions and harmony in music, you will learn the foundations of chord progressions and harmony, professional guidelines and techniques, insights and secrets from live examples. And in the end, you will be able to make music in all types of sound, colors, and emulsions by using the power of courts and harmony in unlimited ways to express this story of your music. So take action now and become a master of chord progressions. It music. 2. What is a Chord Progression: What is a chord progression really? Let's think about this for a moment. Because even though there is a simple answer to this question, the truth is a bit more complex. So the short answer is a core progression is a chain of chords that create a pattern of code changes. For example, let's say you use the following chords in a track, C Major, F major, G major, and a minor. Then your chord progression is simply the pattern of these chords you use in your track. And often this sequence of chords will be different for the various sections of your song. Let me give you a practical example of a chord progression for an intro verse and chorus, but only using these four chords I just mentioned. So as a general guideline, you want to keep your intros soft and simple because you want to save that excitement and variation for later parts in your composition. And this is also reason you want to keep them short because otherwise they tend to be boring for most listeners. So let's, let's just use a simple pattern from F to C, and then from F to C, again, something like this. So that's the intro. Let's continue with the verse now. And now, let's introduce the two other chords, a minor and g. But let's keep the energy still fairly or medium. Energy level. Not too exciting comping patterns and rhythmic patterns, but still has some more energy. So let's go from C Now. A minor, twice F, C, a manner. So that's the last chord, tells the listener that there is a change coming because that was the first time that called was used. And now let's go to the chorus. We have all of these four chords already. Let's make it a bit longer, faster core changes in some cases, so not all costs are the same length before the change. Let's do something with the MIT, bit more excitement. So something like this. This is the absolute basics of chord progressions, meaning that your chord progression is only describing the sequence of chords. Every chord change that defines the pattern of the codes. It does not describe for how long each chord is played before it changes to the next chord. It does not describe the playing style of each chord, the instrumentation and the voice arrangement, the chord inversions and the voicings and so on. There is so much more to chord progressions then the chords you use. As a music creator, you have unlimited creative power to shape the harmonics Tory in your music production by choosing things like chord inversions, voice-leading, playing styles, expressive articulations, instrumentation, arranging, layering, and much more. In fact, even if you choose to use only three chords throughout your entire track, you will still have infinite creative freedom and choices to make your chord progressions sound unique. All right, so I am now going to show you these two quick examples I created to demonstrate your unlimited creative power as a music composer in how you express your music stories, meaning your chord progressions and harmonic progressions in your music. And that is how you play your music, not the chord progressions you use, because these two examples share the exact same chord progression. F minor, C and D flat major are the only three courses, three simple chords, the exact same order here, the pattern and length before it changes to the next chord. The difference is how I play these progressions in the playing style. The voice leading, the instrumentation, articulations, transitions, and so on. So let me demonstrate the first and then the compared to how drastically different the emotional sound and character is in the next one. Playing in 321. Right? So that had more of a sad, emotional, but still pop style. In my opinion. Using only some acoustic drums and electric bass and a piano playing and rhythmic comping pattern. Let's compare it to the next one which is lower in temple, you can actually have different tempo and time signature to change the vibe as well. I'm still using the same drum kit, but lower dynamics of role and then more lighter instruments like whore, pizzicato strings, shorter regulations on woodwinds. And instead of the electric bass, I'm using a low strings, long soaring nodes here. So it sounds like this. As you can hear, drastically different compared to the first example, even though they both share the exact same chord progression. So that is the creative power you have as a composer in how you express your music. And I will also show that you can use this. Even if you all use only one instrument. Because you might say, well, you use various instruments and articulations here. But let's do a simple piano. You can play the same chord progression in so many different ways. So let's start with something though when soft like this, Let's go F minor. So a transition out there, and so on, compared to play more rhythmically, perhaps a bit like this, or perhaps something more with waves and flow like in arpeggio. As you can hear, whatever you want to do in your music, you can do it with how you play each performance, even though you use the exact same chords and the exact same chord progression. So let's ask ourselves this question again. What is a chord progression? The more complex answer to this is that your complete story line in your music composition is created by the interplay and relationships of all your harmonies and how everything flows and sounds together. This is why I call a chord progression the storyline of music. And that is what you will learn to master in this course. So let's keep on learning. 3. The Power of Harmony in Music: The power of harmony in music. Why or codes harmony and chord progressions so incredibly powerful in music? Well, consider a simple lullaby melody. It might sound beautiful, but it will also sound simple, weak, and childlike. I will now demonstrate this by playing this short example I created using only a drum track, a baseline, and then a leading melody on harp laid with Glaucon spiel. So you can hear how much it lags that depth, richness and complexity and emotion that harmony and courts add to music. So let's listen to it. First. Chords and harmonies make music deeper, fuller, more complex and interesting. Basically, hormone is, will fill up your music and make it sound more powerful and complete. All right, so let's use this same example, but start to add some harmonies and chords to make a chord progression that adds depth, richness, complexity, and emotion to this piece of music. So the first thing I added was this piano here. Okay, bit of a rhythmic comping line there. Then I added these strings with these longer notes. In a full course. The smooth transitions. Then a brass line here would I use two of the nodes per chord, basically playing a two-part harmony like that. And I did the same on these quires here, but use different two notes of the chord. And this is completely free for each user. You can use. Let's say you have a standard triad chord. Simply use two of the nodes from that court, applied a hormone, a line. And then you can spice it up by choosing different two notes. So they together actually fill up the complete chord. Now, all in contexts, if we unmute these tracks and they are, your music will be brought to the next level. Compared to without court and harmony. Huge, huge difference. I personally call harmony the depth of music. Without harmony, your music will be shallow thing and wheat. I will now give you a summary of what harmony adds to your music. In my opinion, harmony creates emotion to your music story. Harmony adds depth to your music composition. Harmony provides support to your melodies. What about chords? You may ask, well, chords and harmonies are almost the same thing. The only difference is that stacks of harmonies made from three or more notes or called chords. So you really need to learn this concept. Well, cords are stacks of harmonies, and harmonies are basically two intervals played together. So if you take a simple note like this, see and adds an interval of a Major third above a. So four half-steps, 1234, this E here. Now together they play a major third harmony. Then if you take this E and add an interval of a minor third, 1, 2, 3 above. This is a minor third harmony. Together they create a stack of two harmless major third, minor third on top, which creates a C major chord. You can add another interval on top, Let's say a minor seventh. This one here, from here. This is a minor seven. Well together you play a C7 or C dominant seven chord. That is what chords or in music. And that is why you need to treat every line as one of your harmonic voices that to give their makes up every chord. So it doesn't really matter if we speak of harmonies, chords, or chord progressions. It is still the same thing. Practical implementation of harmony in your storyline of music. Now I will give you practical live examples of the three fundamental powers of harmony in music composition. Example one, harmony creates emotion to your music story. So let's say you have a simple melody like this. Now of course, every melody or a theme like this will have its emotion on its own depending on what intervals you use, how you play it, the written, the plain style, the articulation, the instrument, and so on. But harmony and chords, we'll add so much more depth to your emotional storyline of your music. So if you take this and start with F minor, for example. Because we are going between these nodes, which are the F-minor core coordinates. Then we go here. So we can go, for example, to a flat major or perhaps to D flat major by just moving this node up here. So it's basically this in an inversion like that. So if matter, Let's go to B flat minor, E-flat major. Or he might want to add some nodes, for example. Go to, let's do a B flat minor, but added this note like this. Which as that yet jazzy elegant vibe, because we are using a B flat dominant seventh year. Or a B flat minor seven is even better. So as you can see, you can add a lot of emotion depending on your whole chords and harmonies loan and how you play them, of course. So you can play in our bedroom or any way you want. But it adds that emotional storyline in your music, depending on what chords and harmonies you use. Example to. Harmony, adds depth to your music composition. So first, your course and wholeness fills up the music. So, but even more importantly, is that you should consider everything in the base register. So the baseline is to actually playing a harmony line compared to the melody. So only using a melody and a base is actually playing sort of harmony, but not full chord. So for example, like this. I just play the bass line here in octaves on the piano, but you get the point. It really adds depth to your music composition. Example 3, harmony provides support to your melodies. So let's say we start with this melody and I'd have changed the rhythm and groove of it, but it sounds like this. So of course, every melody has its own pattern in the rhythm of each note, which you can actually emphasize and add support from your records because every time it changed core, do something rhythmically with your chord. You're basically creating an accent. So you can use this ONE, for example, not only cause but also also do your baseline. So if we start this example by just playing the long one bar chords and long base nose like this. Yet that emotion, richness and depth from the harmony. But you don't get that support of your leading melody. So what I did here is if we take look at the baseline, just long notes, that root node for each chord would check the other example I made for it. Like this. I'm actually check this line at the same time as the base layer. You can see that I change the base note basically on every, in his case, on every change, almost every change for the melody. So let's just play the bass with the melody line. So you can see, in this case, I actually went all in and use the rhythm, exact same rhythm on the base as the melody line. Just to prove my point here. And while the piano part here, the first part is only playing the long chord. So let's check the other version I made of it. So if we go into the piano roll and check both these parts now the melody line up here and I actually view eat per color per region now so you can see, so this is the piano playing the chord progression, the warmness. And these are still leading melody. As you can see, I changed cord or the rhythm here. I do it here, I do it here, which actually support the melody. So compare this to before and with this rhythm instead. So not every melodic notes, but pretty much almost all of them. I actually change the rhythm or change the chord here to accent that, that melody line. And you should think of this for all your melodic parts playing harmonies or courts and your music, for example, your baseline again. Before we have this, a version has changed cold or bass note every bar here. But when I change it up to actually respect or even support the melody, rhythm. Okay, so a bit low on the piano there, but you get the point here. Now take action, open your DAW and write a short eight bars section, starting with a drums and percussion grew a baseline plus a melody. Listen to how thin, simple and shallow it sounds without codes, without harmony. Next, use a piano or perhaps a string insoluble preset. To practice these three fundamental aspects of harmony, add mood, depth, and support with harmony. 4. Scale, Key & Diatonic Chords: Scale, key and the diatonic chords. Before you start to add codes and harmony in your music, you need to know what language you're track will use. And that language is based on the scale and key you choose for your song. For example, let's say you want to write a track that is emotional and a sad sounding, then you might want to choose to write it using the natural minor scale. But you also need to choose which key your track will be based on. For simplicity, let's use the example of the a minor scale, since that key is only using the white keys on your keyboard. So if you start with a node a and then go up on all the white keys like this, B, C, D, E, F, G, and a. You have now played at the a minor scale going up. You can play it going down. So those notes, and as the tonal center, the home of your harmonic story, will be the main language for your composition if you write it in a minor. So now that you have the main music language of your track, scale, natural minor scale, and key a. That takes us to the codes based on the language of your music. And those chords are called diatonic chords. The golden rule is to only use cords were all notes of each quarter US, or within the scale and key of your music composition, the language of your music. These chords are called diatonic chords, because that means chords within the key. You can, of course go beyond diatonic chords. But that is getting into more advanced hormone is. So let's just stick with the main rule for now. In this case, the language of your music composition will be based on the nodes a, B, C, D, E, F, and D. Because those are the seven notes of the a natural minor scale. So all chords within your track will be based on those seven scale loads if you stick to using only diatonic chords. So let me make this more clear for you. You have chosen to write your track in a minor, meaning a will be the tonic, the home of your music. And then you will only use the wide case, because those are the case within the a minor scale. Now, when you choose codes for your composition in your chord progressions, the golden rule is to use all the quarter notes from within the key and scale, so all the white notes. So let's take D major, for example, which uses this black key here. That is not a diatonic chord in this case, neither is E major. E minor is because it only uses white keys here. So key notes from within the key and scale of your music. Next. What diatonic chords can you choose from? Well, let's start by sticking to the most basic course on music which are called riots. These are three note chords based on stacking intervals of thirds, either a minor third or a major third. And since you can stack those harmonies in four variations, you end up with four different tried chords in music. So let's learn these four types of basic triad courts in music. So let's use the note C as the root node for all these examples, the four triads in music. So the first one is a major triad. It is the root key, followed with a major third. So 1234 half-steps, you have a major third, major third harmony, and then stacked on top of that is a minor third. So from this one, 1, 2, 3, this is a minor third that gives you a major triad, which I call the feel-good sound or happy sound, if you will. The next one is a minor triad. So let's go back, start off on the root key, then go up a minor third on top. Cause remember all triads or based on stacking two thirds, two harmonies of thirds on top of each other. And there are only two versions, a minor third or a major, major third. So here we have the root key, grew up in minor third. So 123 half-steps is a minor third, minor third harmony. And on top of that from this note stack a major third on top, 1234, and you get a major hormone here, a major, major third. And together, that creates a minor triad, which I call an emotional zone or sad sound if you prefer. So the next one is a diminished triad, which starts from the root node again here C, and then go up a minor third, 123. And then from that you go up another reminder third. So here, 123 and you have, here is a minor third, Here's a minor third. So, so two stacks or minor thirds creates, diminish a diminished triad. And I call that a creepy sounding chord. And then you get the final fourth variation, which is called an augmented triad, so root and then a major third, 1234, ME, major third harmony. And then from this one, again, another major third, 1234. Major major harmony. So major harmony with a major third hominin top creates an augmented triad. And that creates what I call the mysterious sounding chord. Those are the four triads in using, because there are only four ways you can stack two thirds of the forum. Third, third hormone is on top of each other. Major, minor, minor, major, minor, minor, or major plus major. Now let's check out what diatonic triad calls you can choose from in the natural minor scale and the major scale as well. Because these two scales, or by four, the two most common scales used in music. So let's check out the natural minor scale, all seven diatonic chords. So a scale in music is simply a pattern of nodes based on specific intervals between each scale degree. So let's use a minor, in this case, a, B, C, D, E, F, G, and a. Well, let's check the scale pattern of each step of the scale. The first, notice, if a then B for a natural minor, which means that you skip a step here. So not to have set but a whole step from one to two. And then from two to three there is a half-step air. Then from three to four, There's a whole step because you've skipped one here. Then another whole step. Then here you see a half-step, and then whole step. Whole step, which forms the pattern for the scale. Now, the same goes for the diatonic chords. They are created automatically from using, in case of trial courts, stacks of thirds. So if you take a minor, the root note to the tonic is a. The second note of the scale is b, but since you are going to stack it third, you need to go to the third step, which is a C in this case. In this case it's a minor third harmony. So 1, 3, and then skip the fourth and go to five because we are going to stack a third to the first triad chord. You get in the a minor scale is a minor. The next one, starting on the second scale degree escape the third, go to the fourth to keep the faith, go to the 6th, and yet be diminished automatically. So a minor and diminished, C major. And so warm. And one great thing about diatonic chords is like scales. It doesn't matter which key you start on. So check this again, you get a minor root chord. One, the one chord is a minor, a minor in this case, then a B diminished, then a C major, D minor, and E minor, and so on, so on. Let's say you start on D instead, D minor, same scale, D natural minor, but a different key. Well, like with a minor, you get a minor chord as the first chord. And if you remember here, the second quarter diminished, so B diminished while checkout. D minor again. So you have the scalars or D, E, F, G, a, B flat. Now let's check this again. First chord is D minor, then the second chord starts on the second scale degree skip one scale note. Scale degree go to G, skip one, go to B, but that is a flat note. So you flat it to be flat, and you get E diminished automatically as the second chords, the D minor, E diminished third is F-major. Fourth is here. A G and an a flat to the B. So you get G minor, a minor and so on. Now let's check out the diatonic triad course for the major scale. So again, to make this easier, I will demonstrate this with the C major scale because that only uses wide case C, D, E, F, G, a, B, and C. So let's start on the first scale degree, stack a third. So skip the second scale degree not in a third. Skip the fourth scale degree. Go to the faith and you get the first chord, the tonic chord of C major. C major. Then you get to the next one, start on the second, third, and the fourth street, sex, and you get D minor. So for any major scale in music, you will get this pattern of diatonic triad chords, major, minor, minor, major, major, minor, and then the seventh will be diminished. So there you have it. These are the seven diatonic triad course you can use to create your core progressions with if you write your music in a minor. And since the diminished chord sounds very strange and has high tension, you will rarely use it for most music styles. That is why I have marked it in parenthesis, which leaves you with only six choices, three minor chords and three major chords. So let me finish by quickly showing you three simple examples of core progressions for retract written in a minor. So first you need to learn that very often a chord progression in music starch on the root chord, the home or tonic, a minor in this case, since we are using a minor as the key and a scale and end on the same. How would we not always, you can start on a different chord, say. But basically every time you want to end the chord progression in a way that it feels resolved. You want to end on the tonic. Home court in this case a mine. Okay, So let me quickly play these three different examples. The first two, I'm starting on the root chord and ending on the road code. While the third example, I'm starting on the fifth and ending on the tonic the whole quarter. So let's play this. A minor, E minor, C, G, D minor, a minor, and E minor. A minor. And you really felt how much Eight pulled towards the home chord is a minor there. And that is because I used the fifth chord of the scale Just before going home. And that is the strongest pool, that strongest tension to resolve to the one chord. So in the case of a minor, you have the one chord being a minor, the faith would be E minor. So when you go from from do you feel that push to resolve to a minor? Let's go with the second example. Let's pay something just improvising, starting on a minor, C, G, D minor, F, G, like that. Okay, so here I actually went from G and then do a minor. Okay, so the third example, I'm not starting on a minor, E minor. So the fifth chord in this case, which has a strong pool to the tonic chord, a minor. So I go immediately there, like this. Like that. Now, you can of course use any diatonic chords in your chord progression. And let's say use in minor scale a minor. So the starting called Whitby minor, a minor in this case. But a bonus tip here for you is that the one chord in this case a minor, and then the fourth, which in this case is D minor. And then their faith in the minor scale here, the 145 core zone three scores I call the strong courts or music because those will have the strongest harmonic impacting any chord progression regardless of scale type you use. In the case of a minor scale, those are all minor, so a minor is a D minor, E minor. And if you use a major scale, the 145 course will be major, a, C Major, F major, and G Major. This the reason why many pop songs use only three or four chords. So if they are based on a minor scale, those will be the one 45 minor chords and then perhaps adding a F-major there for some spice. So it, regardless of chord progression and regardless of scale, it is always safer to use the 145 chords more often than other records. And then think of the other chords as spice and corner for your chord progressions. 5. Going Beyond Triads: Going beyond triads, the standard triad chords and specifically the major chords and the minor chords, or the absolute fundamentals for harmony in music. The two other types of triads, the diminished triad and the augmented triad, or not used as much in popular styles of music due to their extra tension and dissonance. Let's have a look at these four types of triad chords in music. And remember, a triad means two stacks of thirds on top of each other, which naturally means you have four ways of stacking them. First, you have the major triad, which is root plus major third, and another major third interval on top. And that is the feel-good or happy sounding chord. The next triad is the minor triad, which is root plus minor third. And then a major third on top of that, which is the emotional or sad sounding chord. Then you have the diminished triad, which is the root, plus a minor third, and then another minor third on top, which is the creepy, scary sounding chord. And finally you have the augmented triad, which is root plus major third, and another major third on top, which is the mysterious worthy sounding chord. Now what if you want to go beyond these triads? There are hundreds, if not thousands, of types of cores you can use in music. But let's be honest, you don't need all of them. I have made it simple for you by making a summary of what I consider to be the seven most used chords in music, including the patron of intervals that make up this course. Number 1, the major triad, root plus major third plus perfect fifth. Number 2, the minor triad plus a minor third has perfect fifth. Three, suspended fourth, which is root. Thus perfect fourth, perfect fifth. Number 4, suspended second, which is root last major second plus perfect five, the dominant seventh chord, which is the most used seventh chord in music, which is root, pass major third, perfect fifth, and a minor seventh at the top. Then you have the sixth most fundamental core, which is the major seventh, root plus major third, perfect fifth, plus a major seventh on top. And finally number seven, which is the minor seven, root plus minor third, perfect fifth, and a minor seven. At the time. I would say that by only using these seven types of chords, you can pretty much write every piece of music you can imagine. In fact, you may even stick to just the first four of these core types as your main chords to use for your core progressions. The great thing about the sus4 and SAS, two chords, by the way. That they can add a beautiful emotional light tension into your chord progressions. So if we take a listen to the sus4 chord less, you see sus4. They suspended fourth wants to resolve back to the thirds in this case, can go back to the C major chord or sees us to these suspended second wants to resolve to the third as well. You can also do this for minor chord, so let's say F minor. And then use SAS to back to the or F sus4 and back to the F-minor. But how, and when can you use any of these other chords in your music? First, the main rule is to only use the diatonic chords in your group progressions. So make sure that the core type you use only uses notes from within the key of your song. So let me give you some demonstrations here of going beyond triads. Let's use a minor as a scale AND gate. And you already learned the first try and chord is a minor, then you get B diminished, C major and so on. Let's say you want to try a suspended chord. Let's start on the tonic, the root chord. You can make it suspended, suspended forth because root perfect fourth, perfect papers is suspended fourth chord. And in this case you are using notes from within the scale or so that is accepted, that is a diatonic chords within the key of a minor, as is the suspended second, in this case, a SUS 2. Now let's check that on the fifth chord, the E minor chord, E past perfect fourth, perfect fifth, is as four. Yes, that is diatonic. E major second plus perfectly ethos two is not diatonic chord. Okay, so you cannot use the ethos a two chord if you want to use diatonic chords in your core progression when you write in a minor. And let's go beyond this. Let's do a seventh chord. So like with the triads that you simply pick out by, by stacking 3rds in the diatomic case. So 1, 3, 5 is a minor. Just stack a third on top, skip this one, go to this one, and you automatically get a minor seven. Go to the next second scale degree, skip every other nodes, so you get the one or 246. And then to the octave here. So you get B half-diminished, be diminished with another third stacked on top. That is the second diatonic seventh chord in the key of a minor. The next one, C major seventh. The minor seventh, E minor seventh. E, F major seven, F and G dominant seventh, also called the G7 for short. So to make it easier for you, I have created this. A template or a cheat sheet of sorts for the most common diatonic chords you can use in the minor scale and the major scale. So to start with a minor scale, if you use a miner, for example, the first root chord will be minor, a minor in this case, you can't choose here to go with SaaS 2 because as you can see, root plus a major second has perfect. Dave is a SUS 2 chord, and this one only uses nodes from within the game, as is this asked for in this case. And if you stack a third on top of the triad, you get the 7th Air. Use case a minor seventh. So all those four chords, minor says two and sus4 and minor seventh. When the root key here is a, if you write your song in a minor, the next one is diminished, be diminished in this case. And here you practically never use this cis all over diminished core triad, but you can add a third on top to make a seventh chord, in this case, a minor seventh with a flat five, which is also called the half diminished seventh chord. So those two versions you can use for the second quarter degree in a minor, then the third chord is major. You can do a SaaS 2 for all major seven. Let's go to, let's go through the fifth. So it's E minor and you cannot use this one. There's SUS 2 because that is not a diatonic order, but you can use a sus4. Last, let's go with a six chord, which is F major, and here it's the opposite. You can use this as two, but not the SAS for, because that does not only use keys from within the scale. So let's check this. A few examples from the major scale. So the last use C major chord is major. You can use a SAS to SAS for Major seventh. Let's go on and try the third coordinate, which is E minor. You cannot use a SaaS T cells too, because it uses an unknown outside of the scale. So that is not a diatomic or, but you can use the sus4 and stacking a third on top of the triad creates a minor seventh, or the third scale degree. Let's try with the fourth chord, F major. Here you can use Fs 4s2, wrote major second. Perfect fifth. Party cannot use rude plus perfect fourth, perfect fifth, because there's not, not within the key of C major. And if you want to create a seventh chord, add a third on top. And you get naturally a major seventh chord for the fourth scale degree of C major. So you can apply both of these cheat sheets for the minor scale animators scale on any key of that scale type. So if you use, let's say D minor, the first coordinate is minor, but you can use a SAS to hear sus4 or a minor seventh. And the, let's say the fifth chord of D minor, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. So here you have a, a minor, you can use a SaaS. Party cannot use a SAS to transform his case as to not know because the key of D minor has a B flat. So this note should be flatted. Is a SAS 2 is not a diatonic chords in the key of D minor. So apply this template whenever you create your core progressions, either for the nine minor scale or the major scale. And you can create basically any type and emotions of music you want with all using these chords per scale degree. Another guideline is that you can consider going beyond the triads when the added chord voice corresponds to your melodic line. So let's say you play in a minor and you want to use a C major seven chord in your progression. That may be a good choice. If you're melodic line touches the B note, which is the top voice of that C major seventh chord. So let me demonstrate this by using the key of a minor again. So roof called a melody goes like this and reuse a man or as a starting chord. Now, if you want to go to this B here, you can of course use in E minor chord like that, but if you want to spice it up to add a seventh chord, try the C major seventh because that also uses this note that is a good point in your composition to try it out. So here, let's say you want to use a sus chord is G note. If you use a, let's say D Salesforce also uses this genome or going like this. So use this guideline for anytime in your composition. Your melody line just something goes to specific note. Try out the code that uses that note. It doesn't have to be seven quarters can be as SaaS for us to add seeks, any type of chord color you want to use. At any specific point. Your melody goes to a specific node. 6. The Voices of Music: The voices of music. Now let's continue your journey in chord progressions and harmony by going a bit deeper. Let's go beyond what harmony and chords are and their relationship to the scale and a key. And let's dive into practical applications of harmony in music composition. Harmony is all about voices. So now I'm going to teach you probably the most important aspect of harmony, which is this. Harmony is all about voices. Now by Voices, I'm not talking about human voices. A voice in music simply means one of the ports playing in the harmonic or melodic storyline of your music. For example, let's say we have a simple chord progression over triad codes. Those three note chords or split into three voices that each play their own line. Inside the chord progression. You can think of a choir. The entire choir plays a chord progression or harmony together, but the courts are split into different lines, and each line of the code is then assigned to a section of the choir. Let's section performs its own voice inside the full harmony. So let's have a look at this simple example I created on piano, going from an F major, C major, G major, and back to C. Alright, so instead of thinking of your chord progressions as blocks like this, think of a every line as a separate voice. So in this top line here, could be played by, for example, violins. These could be played by violas, for example, and this by shallows. You can also doubles or that shallows and French horns plays this, or think of it as voices in a choir. So this top section is the tenors, sopranos, and you have the altos and so on. But it's more apparent if I show you a real example, playing together, because all voices as a family is what creates your chords and harmonic progression. So if you take a loose some space. So I actually have a string section here, playing the fool tried calls F minor to D flat here and so on. But even if I exclude that, you should consider every melodic instrument, every instrument that plays a pitched sound. So the base here, with the harp playing the melody. So the melody is actually part of the harmonic progression, even though you might not think of it. The brass here playing to note harmony. So you can see and the choir here. This is just layering in the heart. So now take a look here at wherever you place the playhead. You have to count every voice playing. Check the notes and see this is the current chord. So here we have another F, so the root note, G sharp, which is a minor third, and F Again, the root node doubled here you can see in the New York Times and then another D sharp pieces, which is the minor third. And then once you go here. The melody actually goes down. So technically that is an add nine basically, or add to the if you prefer, but it's technically an add nine. You're still on the F-Major chord. But if the melody changes there, it is the same for the baseline. As soon as a baseline goes to this node here. Technically, it's another record, very briefly here, it transition cord, but it is technically and other chord made from the voice leading here with the bass line goes walking baseline down here to the next chord, which is a D flat major. So it says see Charpy about its D-flat Here, here. And then you have an f, which is a major third above. You have another D flat and F again, and so on. So you have to add up everything, of course, the strings here as well, to consider what chord is playing at any single moment. And everything together plays as a family of voices which creates your harmonic storyline. So all the code, playing instruments, all the hormones, voices, all the baseline, the melodic voice, everything counts when you add it up to form your chord progression. Now let's talk about tonal center, the anchor of harmony. So what the listener locks onto in your chord progressions and hormone is, is what is called the tonal center. This is basically the anchor of your harmonic story. The most important tonal center is the root key of your track. For example, if your track is written in D minor, D will be the main tonal center. So let me quickly show you this by playing something in D minor like this. So I finished there with D minor again because the Gleason him hold, gravitate fetal a pool to re-solve to that sweet home, sweet home, which is d in this case. So it doesn't matter what scale you use. The root note the key. So d in this case, will always be the main tonal centers for your music. However, you also have a tonal center, flows and progresses through out your composition, which is the harmonic anchor decided by what chords and harmonies you play, the voice, arrangement and distribution of each voice, the focus per voice, etc. A general rule is that you want to provide the listener with the distinct tonal center to lock onto, which is why the root node of each chord in your chord progression. Shoot in most cases have the most weight and focus. You can achieve this by making sure the base. Focuses mainly on the root note per record, and that the root node is also layered in octaves. So let's take D minor again. This is a D minor chord. You can play it in an inversion, for example, like this, or like this. D is still the tonal center of that chord, but you've all to provide a more weight on the tonal center to provide that harmonic anchor for your music, which is, in most cases, you want to play mainly the root note of the chord in the base register. So if I play an inversion like this, I can act the tonal center by playing the D here in the lower octaves, or even doubling it an octave above here. So you have three D's in this case. So you can of course, make your baseline walk like this. But as soon as you shift the base here to, to see the tonal center of the court. The D, the root note of the chord is not as clear, so you don't want to be there for too long time. It creates a bit of tension here. More more as a parsing or transition time. So I would say 80 percent of the time you want to keep your base on the root note. Just as a general guideline. And always put more weight on it. And you can do this by doubling it an octave above, or even an octave up here if you want to. So that is the tonal center per chord in your chord progression. You can also make sure that tonal center has the most focus by doubling with several instruments. So if you take this example again. So it starts with if you check the string, say, or it's actually playing the full chord in F minor here. So F is the tonal center right there. And you can see it is played an F in the bass. It is also doubled as one of the two not harmonies here on the brass here. So F and the minor third there. And the choir is actually a playing the minor third interval right there on the court. And the f, hi Rob here, so doubling it there. So as you can see, you can double it on several instruments. And that provides a stronger, a sense of the tonal center for every record in your progression as well. And also by using production techniques to make it more prominent in the mix. And the two main production techniques to give more weight to the tonal center is first to increase the dynamics of velocity level here per, for example, or expression control dynamics for instruments that have dynamic control for sustained notes, as well as basically just increasing the level. So let's say the base air, if you increase the level on this track, it will of course, have more weight in the mix. And thus a better sense of the tonal center. 7. Chords vs Melody: Chords versus melodies. So how should you think about the relationship between chords and melodies? Well, the most essential rule when it comes to chords, melodies, and intervals in music Is this. All the melodic voices of all your instruments, or what creates the current cord at any specific point of your music composition. I really believe that this is the most important aspect of chords harmony and chord progressions in music. So pay attention now. So let's say we have this piano part here. So as you can both hear and see, this is obviously playing a chord progression. A sequence of chords here in half bar changes. Now, let's just mu to that for completely for now and check out all these other instruments playing. This is playing the chords, but when I muted it, I'm still playing a chord progression with all these together. So, right? And if I go in and have a look at everything in combination like this, let's collapse it so you can see it every note here. Wherever you put your play head here. That is the current chord. So the chord progression, actually, it's more complex than you might first think. Even if you have an instrument playing the chords, every melodic part of your music actually adds to your harmonic progression. So here you have an F, C, F, D sharp. So, okay, those together forms. If my minor chord, then we have a bit of a voice leading here in the quires. So here you get an F, D sharp, F, C, F, and G. So that forms another chord, and then the base goes up here. So with like a walking bass line, you're actually creating a new code right there at that position. So when you consider this, treat all your voices as part of the family of instruments that play a melodic lines. So pitched notes as what makes up your complete chord progression in your music. This is automatic by their relationships of all intervals between the notes in your parts. So you should always treat every line and part in your music composition as simply one voice in a whole family of other voices, all playing together to shape the story of your music composition. Now, if you play a chord progression on, for example, piano, you usually change chords too slowly for the internal voices of the courts to be consider a melody by themselves. So basically the usual way to look at chords in music. Like a harmonic foundation, a frame work for your music story. So let me show you another example to demonstrate this. So I have two tracks playing the piano here is just playing the melody line, but layered in octaves for more focusing clarity. Right? And then I have this other piano that is playing the chords. But since I only change chords every bar, it will feel more like courts and not individual lines. Because if we check this here, if I just select the top line here, you can consider this. It's own voice in your harmonic family that creates the chord progression. This could, for example, be played on strings while this middle voice here, this middle line could be played by some horns, for example. And you can arrange the different voices of records to be played as a family, creating your corporation. And if you do this, you can, for example, create voice-leading, make, make the actual line do more in your harmonic progression. And the more you add, the more it will feel like individual melodic lines playing together. So counterpoint harmony basically. But this first example is just playing the chords here in blocks. However, if you change chords very often, like for example, every quarter note or faster, your core progression will feel more like counterpoint harmony, meaning several independent melodic lines playing together. So the more often you change chords, the more melodic your chord progression will feel, and the more tied it will be to the interplay between your chords and your melodies. Now let's go back to this example and this is really important as well. So check here. You can see the courts here in blocks, but that is not your chord progression. In foo, you get the complete harmonic progression when you count, add up all the melodic voices in your music. Meaning, for example, in this case, the melody line here. So you have to, at every specific moment, add up every single voice in your music in this case, but a, C, F, a, and F here again. So that's a Major. But then we go here and the melodic voice actually goes up to G, where the F-Major is still playing the chords here. Now this is actually a different chord because your melodic voice goes to another node here, G in this case. So that spells out in add not f at nine chord, and so on and so forth. You also have to add up your baseline, every single melodic voice in your music. Because the relationship between your chords, melodies, every melodic line is what comes when, when you define what your hormones, your chord progression really is. Now how do you choose what chords will sound good with your melodies? So let's check this here. If major, so since you, I'm using here F, G and a, you have to consider the relationship between all your, all your harmonic lines that makes up your chord progression and your melodic line. So the melody is always the spotlight. So those are the notes I play here. So you have to check for the chords that use some of these melody knows. So it, since I use F, G and a here, F and a, let's choose those. Could go with an F major chord. So having seen here at the bottom, I could also choose to use a D minor because that's also uses two of these nodes that were part of this line here inside the melody. So, which will give a minor feels uplifting, F-major. Or if you want to go even deeper, Let's check this. If I add the B-flat here, since that is part of the line as well, I actually go up to B flat, you get b-flat major seven. You get at Jesse vibe there. You can, of course use an inversion and then just continue. And here, for example, I could go to B flat major if I start at D minor. You see the relationship here. You, you have to check what your melodic notes are doing. Which nodes is it? Is it actually focusing on and landing on? So it's a long ethanol now tear. And then along B, or B flat. However, let's say you want to do go to a major field. Another modulation to, for example. So I have the G and B flat here. Focus on those. Let's go to E flat major. Let's actually do a passing chord. So D minor. So actually change from D minor to F here. Because we're still focusing mainly on these two nodes. Let's go up to something that uses this. You could go to B flat major. Or what about this d minor? E-flat major? And that comes as a surprise, but it's also works for this melody line because it also have focuses on these two nodes which were part of this. Because this melodic phrase is those generals and those two notes. So as you can see, you have a lot of freedom for how you harmonize which meaning, which chords you choose for your melodic line. And that is actually what creates. It all adds up to the emotional story curve you want for your music. So that takes us back to this example. Here I have the melody line in octaves. Okay, so we're starting here with an F major, G minor, D minor, F D minor, D minor. But I actually created a different harmonization for this here, still block chords. But I start here, instead of F major with D minor goes to E flat major, just like I showed you what I demonstrated live. And then to f like this. So if it's a different chord progression here. And now this is still using block course, but you just learned that you can get more counterpoint harmony feel melodic support if you add more chords changes. So here I actually have added more chord changes going here from F to G minor. G minor. And since I changed the course here at the exact position where the melodic line changes, that creates a kind of a more emphasis and support to your leading middle listen. So these melody notes where I actually changed the code here, sort of become more accented or emphasized without. Especially here you can have. So if I didn't change the code here and just having that, as you can hear, it loses. That accented emphasized here. Courts versus melody factor. So I call this the courts versus melody factor because you can use this to your advantage to add more support to your melody. Because every time a note inside your code changes, even one single voice, it is like a micro accident. And that micro accent may support your melody if your melody changes the note at the exact time as well. If you change the entire chord, that is even more of an accent, or you starting to see what you can do here. You can use your chord changes and the voice leading inside the chords to accent and support your melodies. Especially if you use voice leading that takes One of the voices inside the code to the same note as the melody, at the same time that melody notes arrives in your composition. Alright, so let's check this example again. So here I actually changed the entire cohort, but let's say I keep that and that and just change that. That is like what I call in my crew accent of the harmony. I changed because I can have this as a block cord. And that doesn't support. But if I change to you, you don't have to change the voice or the pitch of the note, you can actually just repeat it. And that creates center as well. Right? Like that, to cut the laptop again. Because if I repeat or change every node here in the code, so that creates a stronger accent. And let's check here about the melody does here. Okay, So here we go up to an a. Let's see what do we have here? So we have a D minor. There's an f, k here. Let's create an axon tier. So let's rise up this. So now you get an axon just from repeating those nodes. So it's the same chord, but it gets extended support your melody. Okay? So it's an a here. But let's say it goes to a different note. Then you can change the actual code. Let's say you go to seventh chords. What do we have here? We have a D minor, D minor seven would be a C on top. So that node now, okay, So let's say the melody line actually went to a C here. Like that. Okay, like that. So let's go back to condensed view. Now, since I went to see here, I'm still using the D minor chord, but I added the seventh year, so creating a D minor seventh. Because that note here accents what the melody line is doing because it's basically just laying or it layering it with the melody line. So think about that when you, when you want to add a seventh chord and add 9 Coordinator going beyond fires, it's always a good use case when the melodic line goes to a specific note, then supported with a chord like this. So it supports it harmonically. But also since I changed the entire chord, it supports it rhythmically like that. So basically, by changing chords more often, you're getting more into the realm of counterpoint harmony in your core progression. And this can add even more support to your leading melodies. Okay, so let me show you this. The more you change the course, the more these internal lines, because it should always think about your harmonic progressions as several. Terminal lines here. Okay, that together forms up your core progression. Now, if I go to the final example I created here, I'm actually changing chords or repeating the code every single time in new melody note arrives here. It comes in, as you can see here as the first chord. There. I just repeat it for rhythmic accent. Change it here, change it again there. And now we're really starting to get more into counterpoint harmony because I changed it so rapidly here, in fact was less even increase. Now, let's keep it simple. Or I as you heard there, There's so much hormone anything going on because every voice, the line here is its own voice. Of course, I could add a bit more movement to make it more real countable counterpoint harmony. But it's getting more into that realm or that style because there's a lot more going on compared to the first example again, which was long boring block. Okay? So now you have learned both the harmonically harmonic relationship between the melody line and your courts and how you choose to harmonize them, as well as how it goes together to form the family of voices that makes up your true complete harmonic progression. And how you can use these courts versus melody factor to accent both the harmony, Let's see, and the rhythms of your melodies. Now try this out for yourself. Write a melody line of four bars. Then, first, add codes that change every ball. Next, try to add chord changes in between, starting with the half bore marks. And if you can manage it, do it on the quarter notes as well. Here's the bonus tip. A chord change doesn't have to be a completely different core. Altered bass chords, suspended chords, and extended chords often work great. So for example, let's say your melody goes like this. Okay, so let's start with F major. Since we are focusing on these two nodes on the melody. Then we go to the G here instead of changing the chord completely to, let's say g. Just move one of the nose to make the F-Major is suspended chord. So and then when the melody goes like that, is, you can go to, to see, and if you want to add another chord instead of using incomplete the other core, use SAS to, for example here. So suspended version of that code. So, so something like this is much more pleasing and interesting harmonically than just using those F and C corps. 8. The Sound of Harmony (Solo): The sound of harmony in solo. So now I'm going to demonstrate several live examples of courts harmony and chord progressions in action. In essence, the sounds of harmony. It is very important that you use the power you have as a composer to choose an shape, the sound palette for your harmonic voices that make up your calls and progressions, because this will make a huge difference on the style of your music. So I'm going to use the same chord progression for all these examples to show you how the instrument and tonal character and your playing style makes a huge difference on the overall sound. So it goes like this, from a minor, like that to E minor, then down to G major, and up to D major. And I hope you recognize that chord progression. It's from the soundtrack to the movie Inception composed by Hans, similar. So let's start with a soft sounding pianos. I dial down the tone and made it softer with these dials here to make it sound like this. Okay, so let's play that chord progression in a very intimate playing style like this, starting in a minor. And then it starts over and goes around and around with more instruments coming in, those magical strings and so on. So that was a soft sounding and intimate playing style on a piano, on this chord progression to powerful than divine, like a big choir in an orchestral hall. So I loaded this choir sample library with both male and female vocals. Let's play it. And I'm using the modulation wheel to ride the dynamics as I hold these cores, the same chord progression, a minor to lyrical and lush, like a string arrangement. So here I'm using another sample library called a flooded strings with the Chamber Strings, lungs, minimalist, patch. And I arranged the same chord progression, but more very clear with the legato notes. And this automation here. So same chord progression, a minor, E minor, D major, D major. So it sounds like this now. Completely different sound, same chord progression, too elegant and divine, like an arpeggio on a concert hall. So here I'm using a harp from pellets in phonics sketchpad with all the mikes on. And I recorded these arpeggio pattern from the same chord progression starting in a minor. Your possibilities to shape your hormone is with the instrumentation and playing styles or truly unlimited. Now take action, practice playing chord progressions using different instruments and playing styles on their own. Like these examples in Solver, listen carefully to the difference in tonal character and overall emotion they create. As a composer, you should develop an instinct for these sound characteristics. Each instrument, family, and playing style can add in your music. 9. The Sound of Harmony (Family): The sound of harmony, family. Now I am going to demonstrate several live examples of a chord progressions played using different instruments, combinations. Because this is what music is all about. A combination of instruments and sounds playing together as a family to tell your complete music story. So here I had created an example where each of these tracks here play their part in their harmonic role in the family of harmony that creates your harmonic storyline or core progression. So you can see the actual core progression up here, E major, a major, a minor, E sus4, E major, E major C, D, and E. So if you want to, you can practice with the exact chord progression that I have chosen here. Now, in order to make things more interesting, I also opted to create various playing styles on each of these performances. So the piano here, instead of playing simple block course like this, where our E major to a major as a one. I have created a kind of variation between arpeggios styles, some rhythmic comping, some voice leading to create this kind of groove. There is soft and intimate. And with that national human timing variation that praise as the soul to your music. Right? So never quantize any melodic powered 100 percent, that is a tip I can give you. Alright, so that is the piano, very soft in the background. These short strings here play kind of a rhythmic ostinato, but with full chords. And you can see variation in the velocity and the accents creating the main groove. And it sounds like this. Okay, then I have this hard play playing, but harps usually do an arpeggio very high up in range. To add that sense of shimmer and air. The strings here are playing. Yeah, they are playing the chords with this long cords, smooth, shimmering, high strings. Beautiful. The brass is actually not playing full courts, but rather to note harmonies, so to know two out of the node. So from the course you can see the first chord. Where are you? Arrangement track here? What's an E major? So here I'm using and G-sharp, so the root and the third. So the brass is playing to note harmony. I guess okay. Sounds a bit strange on its own, but it's just adding those two no terminates to add its own tone, character to the overall family. Remember this fat, it's all about family in music. So then we have this wind splaying to note, basically an ostinato type pattern. But with these e, since all the chords, basically, most courts use E in them. So I opted to use this as a kind of rhythmic drone, if you can. Label is that it stays there on the II. Also again to add shame there together with the horse. So that is those two adds to the family of harmony. Next, I added these choir, which are playing the chords as well. So let's solo. So here I'm actually playing the fool long block codes with animation and movement from the dynamic expression. And then finally, I also recorded some electric keys. I think this is a Rhodes piano in key Escape to have some smooth, low-end warped sense of color to the sound. Okay? All right, so those are all the colors. Then let's just new to these for now. And I will add the bass and drums. I remember the baseline will also provide, provide its own role in the harmonic progression of your music story. But let's just listen to the family of voices. Hear instruments creating the overall chord progression sounds like this. Beautiful. And finally I added some drums and this baseline, which altogether creates a full sound. Imagine your power as a composer when you combine instruments, divide what voices they each play, as well as the playing style of each instrument and line, the dynamics, the expression, and so on. You can play too simple triad chords in a billion different ways by choosing how you play the notes in the context of all your instruments and ports as a family. So let me quickly demonstrate this as well. So here I play only C minor to G minor to C minor again. So two simple triad chords. The first example here is a piano. It sounds like this, and you can see the nodes here and the plain style, Right? The same instrument, piano, but softer, more intimate and more focused on chords, right? So C minor, G minor, back to C minor. Here I'm using short strings with some marcato notes and, and the rest short. The short notes or staccato, something like this. Okay, next I have a string ensemble here playing the chords, long, lush notes and this growing, this wave of dynamics and it sounds like this. And finally, I also played it on the electric keys, the roads instrument here in key escape. And some variation between, Let's go and have a look. So I'm using the sustain pedal here, but some ration between a bit of arpeggios style with some block chords. And then building an arpeggio up in the end here to get that bell like sound and shimmer, something like this. Now, take action, stored up your DAW and practice combining different instruments and playing styles to shape the tonal character and emotion of your core progression. This is an incredibly important skill you need to develop as a composer. Because orchestration and arrangement will have a huge impact on the final result of your music compositions. 10. Introduction - How to Improve your Chord Progressions: So how do you write, perform, and express your chord progressions and harmony parts in your music to be dynamic, interesting than sound, amazing. I am going to teach you my top techniques, guidelines, and tips. And I hope you will try them all out so that you can store to using these tricks in your songwriting and music composition process to improve your chords and hormone a writing. Let's begin right now. 11. Create a Groove with Your Chords: Create a groove with your chords. Long block chords, or the most boring way to play chords and harmony in music. Instead tried to add some rhythm into the playing styles. All of the instruments they use to play the chords and harmonies in your composition. The best example I can give is an acoustic guitar. Have you ever heard guitar player only play one long chord per door or the core progressions? Probably not right? They play a strumming pattern to make the core progression more interesting with a rhythm and grew stored, applying this mindset of a strumming pattern, even if you play your cards on piano, electric keyboards, or even orchestral strings, just make sure that you use articulations that you can play shorter nodes with as it works better for rhythm and groove on course in harmony. So let's take this string in the sample, for example, something like this. Now in our goal position or sustain or read legato articulations, you will not be able to play rhythmically. So use an articulation, staccato, Marketo, and so on for example, like this. And let's say you want to add a piano in your composition instead of using long, boring and block chords like this, C major, G minor, F major, and back to C, apply real women groove. So for example, you can play this rhythmically per record like this. Or you can add some variation or play arpeggios like this. Or a combination of the two. Semi broken as I call it. So not broken like Arcadia, but like this. And every combination that you can think of, that rhythm and groove into your harmonic progressions on the piano. So comping instead of long single boring book courts. And as an added bonus when you do this, is that it's much easier and more natural to add those pulsing notes which are outside, outside of the main chord. So for example, if we take this C, E, G minor F progression again, here we have the C major. But you can, for example, this. Note when you go to the minor call, a SaaS here says Jesus for and then go into f. And deposing. Note here, F sub two. And then c sus4, since I was two and then C, So all of those extra notes or more natural to add in that ad so hot to the variation and interest in your chord progression and or harmonic storyline. As you can here compared to this Marine Corps, you get a. Then there are some instruments where you automatically get this playing style of freedom and groove. For example, a harp, naturally played with or produce something like this, and so on. You can also use playing styles that add more air and the silence in between the nodes to mark, for example, the main beats, accents in your core rhythms. Let's say on a brass you can play sport Asado and not even played a CPU cores, but only two notes at a time of the cord like this. And also remember that a true magic happens when some instruments play longer notes and lines for their harmonic part, while others play a rhythmic groove. The combination of both is what creates that variation and interest in your harmonies. So here I've created another example for you to demonstrate the power of group, read them and playing styles, especially in combinations when you express your harmonic stories and music stories. So I've used the same chord progression, a, C, E, G minor, F, and C. So let's listen to them individually first. So on piano, I've chosen a bit of a paired year. It'll be faster, real fast our ped year to get some group cord there and some variation here, mid late there. But I've chosen to keep timing variations to add even more human groove and so into the music on the short strings here, which are somatic strings too. I've chosen staccato instead of stucco artists email because I wanted this a bit longer. Notes for the rhythm. Have some tail in the sound. Here I'm based essentially playing the fool coords in a comping rhythm pattern on the harp while, but you didn't harp arpeggios in most cases. Okay, and I've chosen to use only the coordinates on that. Then on the strings, I'm playing here, the corporation with the long lush notes. So this is not that rhythmic, To be honest. I mean, this is really what creates that veil of, BUT into this overall sound. The same on brass here I've chosen to use long chord. But the difference is I've chosen as far as staccato articulation to get that sharp or attack to mark that brass sound. Okay, and finally on the wings I playing these following long notes, arpeggio style. But basically it's the chord notes rescore with a different, read them for each ONE, the actual arpeggio for each chord here. And in combination as a family. With all of this, you get this kind of style. 12. Change Chords within the Bars: Change chords within the bars. Using the same chord for one or even two full bars can feel very boring in your music. So here I have created an example using a piano with long one-bar block chords with these chord progression up here. So let's listen to it first. Now, if your melodies and the way you play your cards has a lot of variation, rhythm, and movement within each chord. You can of course, use the same course for a longer duration and still make a great music. So let's take this same chord progression played on piano, but apply some Redmond groove to the plaguing style of each chord. So each chord will last for one bar, but I'm adding some interest with the groove and the playing style, something like this, be flat, D minor. And see. And of course, if you add lots of animation and movement, like I've done on these strings still playing one-bar block chords like this, B flat to D minor. But you get some dynamic movement. And of course, if you add more instruments playing, let's say I add a piano on top of it. Then of course, you get more variation from that. So still using the same one bar per record. But you get animation, movement and variation and more depth from the plain style and the movement of your music. But experiment with going beyond one bar chords to add more harmonic variation in your music, you should consider adding a few more chord changes in your progression's. The best moments are usually at the half bar point or on a beat, a quarter note. Okay, so let's go back to this piano here. I made the first example using one-bar block courts. Next, I recorded another demonstration here for you, where I actually change chords twice per bar. So first we get from B flat major, B flat major seven, then from D minor to D minor seven, then F Sus to two. So one, and you get more variation. I'm using the sustain pedal by the way. So it sounds like this now. Right? A bit stiff steel because only using block chords, playing every note at the same time of the cord like this is kind of a stiff on, especially on piano. So if I bring up the piano, so you can see it here if we play this. So starting on B flat, then I went to B flat, major seven, then D minor. And then the minor seven like that. So, and you can start to add some rhythmic groove into your playing style of this. So then, for example, from F, G, perhaps if sense to you. And then perhaps see SaaS do. So this way you can add lot of calmer and harmonic depth between, in between the bars. So, so you get more harmonic variation as well as some groove into the planning style. I'd actually done this on these short string is here. So they are playing baseball course, but we've added variation in the chord changes here on the final beat, as you can see. Then here on the final beat as well. Then I switched it at the half bar line here so you can see, and then the last quarter note loss beat there. And it sounds like this, say in solo, yeah. And so on. And finally, let me show you what I did here with these strings arrangement. So it sounds beautiful. And if you add interesting melodies that take the focus, this could be completely fine, but it evolved more harmonic interest. Then let's take this example where I've, I've sliced up the notes and made some movement here instead of bundles long note. Provost to add some voice-leading. Then you can see this starts with a B flat major, then it goes to B flat major seven there. If we take here you can see it's an F Sus to go into an F, go into C. And then this, and this voice changes. So it's a C at nine. And you get much more interesting movement in the chord progression. Your music will get more harmonically rich if you change chords within a boar, and not only at the exact board transitions. 13. Add Transition Chords: Add transition chords. Music is about telling a story using sounds instead of visuals. And what is really important for any good story. The flow of your story line. In this case, taking your listener on a ride that feels like a roller coaster with ups and downs, twists and turns. But always moving in a flow that takes your music story from beginning to an end. And this is true for your chord progressions as well. One way to improve flow is with voice-leading for a smoother ride, but also using friends session chords and pulsing chords to make the journey between the cords more interesting. So let me demonstrate using transition chords to spice up your core progression and make the transitions between chords more interesting. Let's say you're a corporation is flat. All right? Now, the first thing is you're going to go from C major to an F-major. What you can do is to use a chord inversion. So for example, F-major played like this. So making these Topsy down here. Now I'm here from C major to do, F-major becomes smooth, ER, but you can also add a transition chord like this, C. And then let's say c sus4, because that's an F note is also apparent in the EF Core. Offer it so like this. Okay, again, C and a final beat like that. And you can also use another chord or make a seventh chord, let's say, see that C major 7. And then go to you soon again. And you heard the final chord there is at the final beat before the court chains. And then you are at F, F sus4. When you go to B flat major, as you can hear, it creates more interesting and basically ties together the chords smoother. Instead of just chord change, they're the best moments to add these brief chords is in the final quarter note before the next bar, where a new chord comes in. The transition cord does not even have to be a very different from the two main courts. But it can very often be simply a variation of one of them. For example, a seventh chord, a suspended chord, altered base cord. Added note chord or any other variations of one of these two main chords in the transition between them. So let me quickly demonstrate the two different types of transition course. The first I already demonstrated, which is a, another code colder but still using the same root node. So C to F. You can do sus4, for example. You can see, let's add the six tear. So CC, C major research. You can do C seven, this hair, so creating a C seventh major seven chord, and so on. So various colors but using the same root note of the chord or even the next chord. But you can also do a transition coord. The other way is to use a completely different coordinating, a completely different route node. So from C to F, you may, you may want to, for example, since this is using E and G inside, if just move that node, you create an E minor. So you can do that as a transition chord. You hear that a totally different chord progression here. Since it's so short, That's the meaning of transition chords repulsing course. They are just that intermediary step between main course, in this case, C major and F-major. But they can add a lot of interesting colors to your chord progression by using them either the color of the same, so same root note but another flavor of it, or a completed different chord for a brief moment while the transition is happening like that. Now I also created a couple of demonstrations here in the DAW. So let's start here. This is the chord progression, D minor, C, D minor, and so on. And you can see only block chords here, so no transition course. It sounds like this. Or two bars, D-minor here and then to be flat. Okay? Now, the next thing is, I basically copy pasted this to another track here, and then I slice it up and created a different chord or color here in the final beat here, here, here, and so on. And these are transition chord. So let's, let's listen to the difference now. Okay, so a lot more interests, interesting movement and variation in the chord progression. So let's see, we're going from D minor here. And then I've chosen to use D minor, add 11. And here, C to C seven, D minor, D minor seven, and so on. Now, of course, you don't play book. Like this on piano because it sounds stiff, but you can write your overall chord progression as a sketch at the top of your sequencer and include all these transition courts and use them as a visual guide when you arrange your music. But I also created this example where, because here I actually changed or repeat every note in the coordinate creating these blocks like this. So let's compare this to the full chord. So every change, all nodes change or repeat. But here on the strings I've shown you the more a lyrical and beautiful way of performing harmony is to have the individual called voices do their own individual lines. And you don't usually create a chord change like this, like a block, but rather as individual voices. So you have individual voice movements. So here you see the D minor here the top voice stays the same, the lowest as well. This one changes at the final beat. Today's. And this one goes down to add that voice movement, because every time even a single voice changes. For example, let's say here you have a C and then this top g goes up to b. And that's crazy. C7 is only one voice or changes. The other states is the same R that adds that lyrical beautiful way of a harmonic progression. And again, like with the transition chords here, you can have as a guideline, the final beat of each bar, or the half bar here to add these voiced movements. And in most cases you don't want all the voltages to move at the same time, but rather just one single voice or perhaps to in some cases here, because if all changes that can sound a bit muddy for your whore harmony. And you may lose the cohesion of the, the focus of what each code actually is in your harmonic story. But that is the essence of a transition chords in music. So experiment with this, go from long book chords and start adding transition course, either the same rootNode with a different color, the chord, seventh chord, suspended chord, add six chord and so on, or a completely different chord. And also remember that you can also change only one or two voices at a time and thus create a harmony as a transition into the next chord. 14. Use Better Voice Leading: Use better voice leading. Voice leading in music is the art of choosing how to play and connect the flow of each voice in the chords and harmonies over time. For example, if you play a C major chord, the notes or C, E, and G. But you can play with any of those notes in a different order than the standard root position. If you play them as E, G, and C, it is called first inversion. And if you play them as G, C, E, it is called the second inversion. And if you play chords with four nodes, such as seventh chords, for example, you can also get a third inversion. So for example, if you have a C dominant seventh chord, C, E, G, B flat. Now the first inversion moving up, Let's see here, the second inversion moving up this E here. And the third inversion, because you get an extra third inversion if you have a four-note chord moving up this G here, like that, all of them, or C7, but three different inversions. Most often you want to play your course in a way that makes the core progression flow smoother, which means choosing inversions for your chords. That creates fewer and shorter jumps of the internal core voices. So let's say you want to go from C to F. Well, this is a big down. Now, you could either use an inversion of the C chord before going to the F, like that. Move that up an octave. So you have the c major in first inversion. And then the C will remain because these two other voices will just move up like so to create the F chord. So that way you get a smoother voice leading between these courts. Or you can choose to use glow the other way, start with C position and then use an inversion of the F-Major chord. So move this an octave down, like so. And this is an F-measure quarter as well. So going like this. But you can go one step beyond this. If you start doubling some of the core voices in the cord, and then change how you voice the chords as you play. For example, C, E, G is a basic C major chord. Now, if you then add another C, an octave above, so C, E, G, and C, you can create a smooth voice leading transition to, for example, a C dominant seventh. After that, C, E, G, B flat. Now, let's say you follow up by going to F sus4 and then to let say if major of that. Well, congratulations, you have just created a great little chord progression using creative voice leading, which adds that nice and smooth transition between your courts. So here I created an example of a chord progression just using standard root position chord. So CGD minor, a minor. C, F, and C. And it sounds like this very jumpy and stiff because you get for each voice. So the first thing you can do is simply stop to transpose these like this one an octave below to make an inversion of it. And you can see it actually now share, so you get one less, jump on the voice transition to the next chord. Like that. But say that one below is one perhaps above. So you can see you are starting to reduce each leaf or voices like this. Right? So that's the first step. The next step you can do is add if you get big leaps that you cannot avoid. Like for example, here, this is the root node of bases a C chord, but it goes to G. Then next as the core. So this is just the root note in octaves or the courts here. You can start to actually create some transitions like voice-leading here. So let's say the C here goes like that to walk smooth ER, to the next note. And all of these together can create a much smoother chord progression. So if you check this here, I took this and I prepare this example where I used these, both of these techniques. And you can also, it doesn't have to be the same leaps here. So here it's been lost beat where I added a change. But here I've made it all. The lower note here, half bar mark. I mean, you are completely free. Just make sure that you're not creating too much of a mess for the current cord Wherever you start to add this kind of voice-leading. So here we get from a C. And if you choose to walk down or up for any voice in your code, make sure that you're not creating a crazy kind of course, this is just a C major 7. Sound like this. So the most important lesson you need to learn is to treat each line has its own voice in your code. And so if I, for example, just select the top line here, three, this has its own voice or inside your harmony. So you want to, in most cases have less jumps. So this is the acid. Do you have steps or a tone? Irrigated semitone, and so on. And I've done this on all the voices. You don't get any big leaps. That's how you get these smoother progressions. And it's especially important on instruments with long sustained notes, like strings and sustained brass winds and so on. So here I made the same example on a string in Samba patch and his arm like this now. So when you add these extra notes to create a smoother and better voice leading for your chord progressions. You should be careful of doing too much at the same time. So, for example, here, these voice goes down here, while this remains the same until the court change. And here you get at the half palm. Ok. Don't do all the changes at the same time. Or it will be treated like its own core word. So of course you can do that as well as transition courts and pausing courts. But here when we talking about voice leading, treat them individually, the voices, but don't do too many changes at the same time. So here I did to this one to there and this one too there. But this one, this one, and this one remains the same. And also, if we are talking about the root note for the cord solar, in most cases it will be played in the base. And also sometimes the octane of the bass note. That is the voice you want to be most careful about because that provides the tonal anchor for the listener, the root node of each chord. So make sure you keep that longer in most cases and do the voice leading more on the third and the fifth and other voices of your records. So now you can practice when you write your core progression to arrange your voices and add extra passing notes to create smoother transitions going from Stephen, block chords like that, into something with more interesting smoother transition of the internal voices. That makes up your core progression. 15. Use Creative Chord Voicing: Use creative chord voicing, so called inversions and voice leading is the fundamental way of making your core progressions flow smoother. But let's take this a step further. Now, imagine a guitar player that plays a chord using all the six strings on an acoustic guitar. This means that some of the chord notes will be doubled. And in some cases, the guitar player might choose to mute, meaning not play one or more of the strings. So let me quickly demonstrate these on these acoustic guitar plugin. So I will play an E minor chord. So let's just play a down cord software. And you can see the strings warbling being played all these lowest three strings, this open string, and these two on the second fret. If I press a bit harder, it's still the same cohort, but now the guitar players trumps every chord. So all six, or every string, all six strings. Which means that some the cord voices will be doubled. And if I do an upstroke, goes in the other, the other direction, and three different strings here. These four strings now, so you can see that it's the same chord, E minor, but it a different color depending on the voicing. So that way you can see that you can create the chord voicings by which notes you double in your codes. So let's say you have an F major chord, F, a, and C. Well, think like a guitar player, which of these core voices you want to double and where? So let's take the C, the top note and doublet an octave below. Let's take the root note and double that an octave below as well. So we have F, C, F, a, C analyte. Just add another F and on top of that. So this is now the same chord. But with and chord voicing than the simple three note chord here. Caused chords. First, you need to understand the difference between closed and open chord voicings. A closed voicing, for record is simply having all nodes over the cord distributed so that there is no gap in between the notes, meaning no skipped notes is part of the chord. And an open cord, however, is when you choose to distribute the voices of the chord so that there is in fact a space in between some of the coordinates you use. So let me demonstrate the difference between a closed cord and an open chord voicing. So let's take a C major chord, C, E, and G. Okay? So if you play that like this, this is a closed chord voicing because the notes C, E and G, there is no C, E or G in between any of these notes. And even if I voice it with another inversions, moving this up here, there is still no C, No. The internal core voices in between, you don't skip anything. But as soon as you go like this, take this node, for example, up an octave above here. Now the core notes are C, E, and G. But as you can see, here is one of the actual coordinates that is skipped. And the c here is also skipped, meaning this is an open chord voicing. So you can also add more nodes. So let's say you have the root note the C below, write that. Then you take the third, let's say it over there. And then you take, let's say the root again, their faith pair and the root hair. So this is actually a C major chord with an open chord voicing. And compare that to a closed chord voicing, which could be something like this. Even if you double everything like this. That is still a closed cohort courses. And again, an open chord voicing is whenever you skip one of the internal court voices. So for example, C major sought. We see if you skip any note here as part of the coordinate like this. This is an open chord voicing and you can voice it out as you wish, how wide you want, like JB or third. And that is a very wide spaced out chord voicing. Of course, this naturally creates a more open sound with better separation between the voices and as air for other instruments to play melodic lines, themes, reefs, or whatever you want to add. But spacing it up out too much can make the cord loose. It's cooled, Foundation and connection. And instead feel like completely separate lines instead of a cold. So you have to be careful with how far you space out the core voices. So let me demonstrate this on this piano chord progression in E minor. So I'm starting in E minor, going to E minor seven then to see Jesus for G and so on, sounding like this. Okay, so here I'm just using closed position chords again, it's means that each of these quadratic voices, I don't skip any internal chord voice. There is no, for example here, this is E in E minor, E, G and B. So we have here E, G, and B. So there is no EEG or B note in-between any of these notes. As soon as you transpose any node of this up or down, you create an open voicing. So let's take, for example, the lower line here down an entire octave like this. Now you have an open chord voicing like that. And let's say you transpose the upper line up an octave. This is getting a bit too wide. It will not sound like a cold anymore. Because it's space too wide. Of course, if you use this and fill it up with other instruments, that can probably work, but be careful with how far you space out each chord and if you space them out, you can also, for example, double one of the lines. So let's say you take this lower line and then you double that up here. Now that we still have an open chord voice. But you starting to feel some of the gaps to make the steel feel like a chord progression and not just individual voices. So you can use these concepts, the closed position chords and the open position chords, and which called voices. You double in creative ways for your chords in your core progressions. And a good guideline is to make sure that the root node of every chord has the most weight and focus in your chord, which in most cases means using it as the lowest note and even dabbling it's an octave above. So let's say you want to voice a C, add nine chord in your chord progression. Instead of playing it straight with no doubling like this. And then the add 9 is actually the D here, even though the nine dots are payer, but in closed position, it's a, D, E, and G. So C89, enclosed position. Experiment with the voicing. For example, let's double the root node, so an octave Biao, So let, let's do C and then another C an octave above, then go to the perfect fifth of the chord. So the G, and then go to the d, which is actually the add nine. And then you can take, let's say the perfect fifth G again, the root note again for even more focus on that tonic or the root note of the chord. So C, and then finish with the final load being e, which is the third in this case. All right, so let me now demonstrate this huge difference in tone and Colmar from creating chord voicing like this. So here I have you see add nine chord in closed position, C, D, E, and G. Like that. But here, as I just told you, I have chosen to have the root node here in the bass doubled an octave above. So see you again. Then the perfect pivot, the g, then the add nine, the d, Then the perfect gift again. So g, then the root note here, C, and then the third is E, which sounds like this, before. And now after. Completely different tone and color, exact same chord. Keep in mind that it is usually recommended to focus on the root node and, or perfect fifths in the lower range, I would say below middle C. For your core progressions, you should in most cases, only use the root node of each chord and, or perfect fifth harmonies and voices. And then above middle C, you can be more creative with what the voices and the intervals you add. In your core voicings. Alright, so let's say you have a D major chord. So here is middle C. So below middle C, I recommend that you are careful with adding hormones other than the root note of the chord. So d in this case, and the perfect fifth, so a in this case. So for example, let's say you start here in the lower end with a D and then an octave above. And then the perfect faith here. And then the actual D, F sharp and a that is still clear and focused. And if you look here, I actually doubled the root note in the, obtains. Here below middle C. I don't have any other harmony or the voice of the chord other than the root and the perfect fifth, root, root, perfective, and then the rest of the core. Alright, so now I'm gonna give you a tip on how you can practice with creative cool voicing. So I recommend that you practice on piano like I have done here, right? Your core progression. And then you use the root note of each chord in octaves with your left hand and play the actual code with your right hand. And here we can use inversions if you like, but stick to the root notes down here. So let me show you this on piano. So if you play C major here, why? So see in Octavius there. And then now, even if you use an inversion, so take this C up an octave like that. Still play the root note here. Then let's say you go to a minor, play that in an inversion like this, go to in rootNode Sinopterus here, so say like that. And once you have recorded that core progression, just quantize it to bars or have bars like I have done here. And then start experimenting by moving one of the voices up or down to create open chord voicings to create the inversions you like. So let's say you want to move that up, like so. Let's move that up. Now, this is a more smoother voice leading here. Oops, guy, like that. And let's say you realize that you want to dabble, for example, this, this chord voice here. So that's g, w, h by copying it and moving it down an octave. So you have this. And let's say you want to have that, double that. For example, an octave above like that. The swell and octave above and space it out however you like it. So this is what creating chord voicings is about. Closed versus open chord voicings. And which voices you double like a guitar player, double by playing several strings of the same notes, but different octaves. And how widely you space it out in the range of octaves in music, and so on. 16. Voice Arrangement per Instrument: Voice arrangement per instrument. The great thing about course and harmony in music is that you are completely free to divide an arrange all the individual chord voices, so called Notes, to be played on any instrument in your composition. For example, let's say you have a standard C major triad, C, E, and G. Then you might choose to play the root note. So see on the base, the C, an octave above on the shallows, the E could be played by the viola section and the G on violins. Alright, so let me demonstrate your creative freedom with voice arrangement per instrument. And I created these little simple chord progression from C major to G major and then back to C. So the voice arrangement I have chosen here is on the base, I simply use the root node record, so C to G and back to see here. Okay, very simple. Then on the strings, I chose to play the root note, but an octave higher like this, doubled with the banks. Okay, next, I added some brass, and here I chose to use what see, I have an E here. So the third of the C-major chord, the B, which is this third of the G-Major chord, and then the third again. So let's quantize this by the way, like this. So let's just stack them on top of each other now. So we have the root route an octave higher and the brass is the third, third. Then adding the wings on top of that. And here are used, Let's see. Starting on the G, which is the perfect fifth of the C major chord. Then go into, let's quantize this, by the way. Whoops. Then going to, let's say the d, which is the perfect fifth of the G-Major chord, and then see which actually is the root note of the chord. So different order here. So finally, I only use two solo lines, one note at the same time, but on the choir here I actually used more notes. So let's say against should take a look at this here. I started with the E and the G, which is the third and a perfect fifth of the C major chord. Then I call this g, which is the root of the next chord, G major. And added a voice-leading, had the d, which is the perfect fifth of the G-Major chord. And then it finishes with a C major chord. And here I use a root and a third. So it goes like this. Okay, so super simple. But with all of that together, it starts to get more interesting. Just by using creative voice arrangement for each chord per instrument. Then you can still have a piano playing the code rhythmically using all coordinates and double the root and fifth, for example, to play harmony line on a brass and sample track and so on. Okay, so let's just try record something live on this piano FAQ on top of this voice arrangement. So I'm just going to play C major to G major to C major. Something like that. I mean, adding some groove, adding some interesting coloring of the cord. Keep in mind that many instruments only play mono phonically, meaning one note at a time, while other instruments, like a piano or guitar, might play all quarter notes, including doubling of some core voices. And sometimes an instrument play a 2-node harmony over 2, or the core voices, or even just relevant to the scale of your song. As you can see, there are no limitations on your creative choices here. Arrange your code voices as you want on every instrument, you want to play a part of the harmonic family in your music storyline. So let's take another example here. Recall progression in E minor. So I start with the bass voice here in root notes, right? Adding a piano playing the fool chords, including doubling the base down. Then we get to the strings here where I play three of the voice is very spaced out. So open chord voicings like this. Next we add brass line here, also spaced out voters for the most part. And weighing like this. Adding some windows here where I also used to know terminus. Let's say we can't get them here. Kind of spaced out, open chord voicings, but other voices than the brass. And finally acquired where I do a two part harmony here based on, of course, the actual coordinates from the chord progression. So altogether, you get this creative chord voicings per instrument playing like this. So go ahead and experiment now with creative chord voicing per instrument. Arrange the voices, your actual chord progressions. So of your caused in your progression, two different instruments, either playing monophonic, meaning one note at a time, the full chords like a piano guitar, or to note harmonies like the brass here and woodwinds, and acquire your creative freedom with voice, arrangement per instrument and part is unlimited. 17. Voice Performance Styles: Voice performance styles. You have complete freedom in arranging each chord voice, her instrument, and purport in your composition. But let's go further. You also have unlimited choices on how you play each instrument playing the chords and or harmony voices in your music. Meaning that you can have your arrangement using any number of instruments playing its role in your core progression. But every instrument can also be played in a different way and even change throughout its performance, meaning the playing style and performance of its power. For example, you can have a piano playing, let's say the course as an eight arpeggio. So let's say your chord progression is D minor, F major, C major. Then your piano might be playing something like an 8-note or pedigree like this. You can have staccato strings playing two of the core voices as a harmony using a rhythmic groove. So let's say we use the same chord progression here. A D minor, F major, C major, D minor. And I will play the bass and architects with my left hand and your short strings might play, play style using to know terminus, but with a bass notes here. With a group like this. Your base might be playing a driving baseline, mainly on the chord root note, but with transition notes using one of the other coordinates before a code change. So on the same chord progression, DFC and vector d, your baseline might be playing rhythmically agree with using mainly the notes of the chord, but adding some notes in between and to spice up the interest of the baseline, something like this. A brass ensemble might be playing the root and the fifth of each chord as a more cultural x and in the beginning of each chord, something like this, for example. And so on. Is cello might be playing a monophonic spiccato, short articulation in an ostinato rhythm, following mainly the chord progression. So the voices of each chord. So on the same chord progression, again, D minor, F, C, and D minor, it could play something like this, for example. Again, your creative possibilities or unlimited. Even if you play the same single chord for, let's say four bars, you can create. Infinite variations using different playing styles and performances on the different instruments for the harmonic parts of your music. So for example, let's say you have a D minor coordinator. And I'm playing the written out of the cornea and octaves in the base. Okay, something like that. Let's say your baseline is playing this on the same chord. Let's say the shallows or doing some kind of ostinato own the D minor here. And then you have a piano playing some calming pattern like these are all nodes of the D minor chord. You might have your brass playing. Only. This. Might have an arpeggio on an harp above. As you can see, your choices for each voice. What it does in articulation and playing style is unlimited. So I will now demonstrate finally an example I created for this. Here is the main chord progression played on piano, just on the simple block course like this, with the root node in Octavius here, going from D minor to F to G minor. And yeah, let's just listen to it first. You can see the course up here. Okay, so those are the courts and the voicings here. So the first thing you can do is of course, choosing versions to create better voice leading. And then you can start to arrange the individual lines, each of the voices here for the course, which I've already done. So the first thing I did was to play more of it comping pattern here to add some rhythmic interest on piano, same chord progression. And so on. Then I have chosen to add the short strings playing a 2-node harmonies in a rhythm, different voices, voicings, and more importantly, different in playing science. The harp is playing what harps usually do. An arpeggio, like that piano for now, just so you can hear the other instruments. The stream is here bringing very spaced out chord voicings with long enough brass as I just showed you place in this case, is for sandal or potato, I think, yeah, toto, having that accent. And then we have the winds playing just one voice here. Let's mute the brass for now. Okay. Let's reduce the force of the brass, their dynamics. And then we have these quires here we are, it shows to have the Reno terminus here. Oops, as disinterested in solo. Very soft. Then the keys plays the bass and octave above, I think. When I finally have pizzicato strings, so plucked string instruments that have plaque violins in this case. And I just did the octave, so the dd, just the octaves of each coordinate. And altogether it creates beautiful arrangement with variation and interest in how the court voices or distributed, and also the independence of the plane styles of each coordinate and each instrument. So all of those were just the harmonic progression, a chord progression, the inner voices for the harmonic storyline. But as you can see, you can create infinitely variation, interest rhythms and movements for each voice per instrument, and thus create a very complex arrangement, even though it's just a chord progression, There's no real leading melodies and reefs or motifs here, but it's still sounds interesting do today, these creative arrangement of the voice performance styles per instrument. 18. Shape Dynamics and Add Movement: Shape the dynamics and add movement. Music needs movement and variation to sound interesting. This will of course mainly come from your notes. We named the chords, harmonies and melodies. But when you write and record your ports playing chords and harmonies for your chord progressions. You should also add variation in the dynamics and movement over time. There are two main aspects of dynamics in music. The attack dynamics, meaning the strength of the start of each node. And the sustain dynamics, meaning how the loudness and dynamics changes over time. With some instruments like a piano, you cannot control the dynamics over time. Whereas with bowed strings like a violin, and wind instruments like a food or a trumpet, you can shape the dynamics for any sustained note, how ever you want. But both of these aspects are equally important. To shape the attack dynamics. You mainly use the midi velocity level per note. So here's a piano performance. And if I open up the automation, you can see all the various velocity levels for each note. And this kind of variation in dynamics, attack dynamics by velocity, is one of the key aspects that adds that life-like human quality to a performance. Now, dynamics or attack dynamics mainly controls two things. First, the loudness. So here you can see the average dynamics is about in the middle, but it also controls and shapes the attack, brightness or softness of the tone. So if I eat decrease this, it will both be quieter but also softer in tone, warmer. And if I move this up, it's both louder but also more bright. And that is the same thing, even if I take, for example, short articulations on strings like staccato here. And you can also see in this example here, I also made sure to really mark the main accents. As you can see here, these velocity values for this B tier are much higher than these in-between. And then we have in Maine accent here again, which sounds like this. And you can also see there's little bit of a slope average dynamics, attack dynamics goes up here to roll into the next accent. So those are some ways you can use velocity variation to shape the attack dynamics. And this is the same for plucked or strummed instruments like guitar, whore, and many other instruments. Whereas own long sustained note, that's where the other way of shaping dynamics comes in. And to shape the dynamics over time. For sustained notes, you most often use the mod wheel on your midi keyboard or a fader controlling ACC value in your DAW. It depends on the actual software instrument. So in this next example, since I'm mostly using longest sustained notes, I focused on adding movement and motion on those sustained notes by shaping the dynamics over time. As you can see from this curve here, which is the modulation wheel or CC1, controlling the dynamics of this particular string library. And it makes a huge difference as you can here from this example. I also do this on the brass playing here. I do it on the winds here to lesser degree, but still these waves here. And then a huge degree on this choir here. A bonus tip I can give you is if you want to either add even more dynamic variation, just controlling the volume, you can do so by adding another modulation source for expression. So expression will not control the tonal character, but only, only the volume. So this way you can increase the dynamic variation and contrast over the sustained holds. Or perhaps you want to have the entire performance build slightly in loud and silver time like this. So this goes now in combination with the actual dynamic shaping curve. Okay, So all together. And by the way, I also want to show you that on the piano, I actually chose to decrease, oops, the velocity level very low to get that super soft sound because I just wanted in the background. Okay? And since everything now moves over time, you can see it here as well. Like so you can see. And then it goes down and dynamics. So that's how you shape the dynamics of a sustained notes over time. Build and go back. In dynamics. In most cases you want to do it in waves like this, going up and down, crescendo, decrescendo. But you can of course, shape it however you want, and also you don't have to time it perfectly. It can be. So that is strings get loudest here, while the brass gets loudest here to get variation In the overall movement. This can make a huge difference because the tonal color of your overall piece will change over time as well. What you want is both variation in the dynamics, but also creating dynamic curves over time with the different parts. Weighing the hormones of your corporations, you or in shops, or how you want your music store is to sound and what should be in focus at every single moment. It's the whole experience for the listener that counts, not the individual instruments by themselves. So keep in mind that every instrument in every part is simply playing its role in the family of all instruments to shape your music story. The final example, I want to show you this short three bar chord progression, C major, G major to see and how you can use Dynamics and movement to make it more interesting because it's just a simple C, G and C progression. So on the piano, I have chosen to just go in and have low care. Have not only variation here in dynamics because I played it, recorded it manually on my midi keyboard. But as you can see, I also shows two, increase the dynamics of the velocity over time may basically making a little crescendo, but with dynamic from velocity. I also did this on this heart. Arpeggio. Take a listen to this. You can also see it here. It goes up gradually, starting at the lowest. Sharper, and louder plucks at the end. And of course, on the strings. Here. You can see the automation dynamics here. I recorded this with a fader on my midi keyboard that's white, looks like that. I have it on the brass, the winds, and the choir. But different here. From this, as you can see, you get in most variation if you actually record different dynamic curves for the sustained notes. And altogether, even though it's a super simple chord progression, it sounds beautiful. 19. Shape the Main Groove and Accents: Shape the main groove and accents. Since chord progressions can have any rhythm, you have complete creative freedom on rhythm and him playing style for each instrument part and cold voice, it is important that you make sure your main groove and even more importantly, your accents or respected and emphasized for every part playing a harmony voice or voices in your chord progressions. So for example, let's say you play short articulation strains like this. Okay? So the main accents, you can mark them both with the dynamics of velocity. So the harder you press like this, the louder the accent is in contrast to the rest. But also by doubling more voices. As you can see if I use the Octavius in the base here at the same time as the full chord that gets more weight and becomes an accident by the harmonic layering. So something like this. And the main group will often be provided by the baseline or low rhythms like that. And so those you can use in combination with the dynamics as well. As a general rule. Your chord changes should be exempted. This can be done with both Dynamics on velocity levels, meaning attack, loudness, but also with dynamic curves on sustained notes. And of course, with layering over more instruments. Let's check out this example. I created this chord progression first on piano. The block code for each chord change. Then I perform the part on piano. And as you can see from here, so if I bring up the velocity here, and you can see you have some other notes being accents. So here, these here are accented. Increased a bit more because I really want to extend those in the overall performance with the other instruments. But also, if you can see here, here is a coordinate, then I play single notes or PDO until the next chord change and access the core chains by having all these voices at the same time like this. But you can also go even further by choosing to use stronger, more accented articulations for your instruments on the main accidents, for example, marcato, sforzando, or any accent type articulation. You may want to use that on certain instruments, on specific beats in your composition where the main accents land for your rhythm. So let's check out this again. So if appropriate, here. These are accented both via the dynamics but also without using the sustained petals of these nodes become very short. And I want to extend those on other instruments. So let's say the brass here. If you check out here, this node is along, but these nodes are sforzando, so an accented articulation type on the brass here. Okay, like that. I also do it on these short strings here. So playing staccato here, but then let's say staccato, but then Marketo, which are extended, an accented articulation. And also on this final cadence. So all instruments or just part of this family for your core, groove and rhythm, as well as the accents. So if we take a look here also at the beginning of the piano here we have this, No, not a piano. The short strings here, you have this little faster thing here that APA. And you have a tear again, add up. Okay? You, I respect that little rhythm because I want to extend that rhythm on other instruments, so and here, but above, okay, as well as these as marcato instead of spiccato. I deviate also on the woodwinds here, but up here and here. So always consider the main reason, the main groove of your music, and then respect that on your instruments playing any voice of harmony or melody in your music. So let's listen to everything in combination and you can already hear this. I also have it on the base, by the way. So the base does this digital data. And then this. And they started up. And that way you get the combination of everything like this. One tip I can give you regarding the main groove is to have a rhythm sketching track in your music software, which you simply use as a mock-up and visual guide for your general rhythmic groove of your music. It can, for example, be a baseline, a strumming guitar, rhythmic piano, or perhaps a rhythmic staccato strings track. I recommend using baseline track for this mockup. So because this way you both get the main harmonic tonal center as well as a core group at the same time. Like that. Then you can use these main rhythm mockup as both a visual guide and an audio guide when you record any chords or harmonic rhythm part in your music. So this way, if you use, for example, a baseline at the top of your sequencer as a mock-up or sketch track for the call rhythm, you also get the fundamental tonal center here, especially if you only use the chord root node. So F, C, G, D, and so on. This way It's much easier if you use this to check the actual core written and the tonal centers. So we can do it like this. So you can see and then record something new on this. For example, short strings like this. And so on. And then you can go in into the shorter strings here and perhaps worksheet in combination with these other track to see, really check that you've got the fundamental groove here so you can see it better. Bam, okay. But you want to change those too. For example, marcato, extend those. They now this way, you get to respect that core groove and rhythm. You can also choose to go into the velocity levels, increase those to really boost the main accents. Let's say you have extractions here on each chord change, so on these two as well, and these to increase those and how you get this and so on. 20. Adjust the Timings and Note Lengths: Adjust the timings and note lengths. Just like static block chords or super stiff and boring. Having perfect robotic timings and exact note lengths will sound like music without soul. So here I created a chord progression on piano. And the first mistake is that each node has the exact same velocity level. You already learned that variation in dynamics for velocity levels here is super important, but also the timing of each note starts at the exact same milliseconds for each chord here, and has the exact same node length. Over all of those three things make a performance that is robotic and stiff and lacks that human, organic and life-like character. You need to have variation in the timings for all your chord notes on every instrument and port. But you don't want it to sound out of time. The asked some human variation in timing is the best. So, so do not Quantize notes and ports 100%. I find that somewhere between 50 percent and 90 per cent Quantize strength is enough. I use tighter quantizing, more quantizing, the more rhythmic the parties and less quantizing, the more melodic it is. So let me demonstrate the huge difference by showing you this other piano track that I recorded and performed live to get that Shimon variation is the same chord progression as you can see up here, but a completely different performance. If I zoom in, you can see here actually staggered in the chord like a strum almost. Then you get the variation, the human variation here some are notes or before summer author the grade here. And it makes a huge difference because you get that live character. So listen to this also. You can see that I quantize it to 75 percent because I don't want it perfect. And this same concept also goes for note lengths. Having, for example, a piano or PDO with exactly eight note lengths down to the millisecond on each note will also sound robotic and soldiers. So check out this arpeggio I just recorded on the piano using the same chord progression. You can see the timing difference in starting point, but also the length reach node is different from the live aspect here. If I set them all at the exact same note length, like this. It sounds very robotic and stuff again. And you can really see the Asif go back to the performance I recorded for this example here. You can see this is short, this is medium, this is very short. These are also different note lengths, so this extends a bit of the gradient. If I extend those and get a different field, this shorter. So they note lengths and the individual variation or each also makes a huge difference. The best way to get all these timing and node length variation a naturally is of course to record every port manually into your music software using, for example, a midi keyboard controller. So as you can see on these other facts, they also have individual timing variation. Here. As you can see, it's not perfect on the grade. And it really makes a difference. For every single voice, for every instrument. Some instruments you really want to start before the beat because they have some more longer attacks, like for example, soft strings. We don't want them to start here because then it takes too long of a time to really hear the sound of the instrument. Treat them like pads on since for example. And you can see you also get variation by having different amounts of air in silence between the notes. Do not neglect air and silence as well. So let's take a listen to everything in combination. Because everything, all those tiny variations, not only in velocity and dynamics, but also starting points for each note, timing and the node lengths. So this is how it sounds. But if you choose to write the nodes with your computer, mouse and keyboard in the piano roll editor or score editor. You can take advantage of a humanization or randomization feature in your software, which most DAWs have. This kind of humanization feature will create variations in timing, note lengths, and even velocity of the values automatically for you. So if we go back here to this piano arpeggio, which are written in with my mouse here. So the note timing, start positions, and the node length, or exactly down to the millisecond like a robot, as is the velocity values. So you have to check your DAW. But in logic, going into the piano, roll, your own functions up here, mid transport form and humanize. And now you can select how much randomization, what on the position. So let's go with 20. Take switches. A smallest value can change anything. Minute, hours. Let's go for velocity with 15 and length. Let's go with 30. Takes select not, right? And you can see the velocity values change chair. Then you can always go in and set it. So some notes, I mean, manually adjust some of the levels here. I would probably in the case of an arpeggio, increase the length of bed for everything. But you get much more lifelike character. This way. It's still, I prefer, and I recommend if you can recall it manually. Also in this case, you probably would like to add some sustained pedal to it, make it flow better. But you get the main point here, which is variation in velocity levels that I makes, but also the starting positions for each note as well as a note lengths. It makes a huge difference in the overall lifelike in human character and makes your music feel more musical, so to say. 21. Harmonic Motion in your Progressions: Harmonic motion in your progressions. By harmonic motion, I am not talking about the individual voice movement, all transitions for every chord change. Instead, you need to take a step back and see the entire chord progression as a whole. And look at this story curve and movement of all voices in your harmonies create together, build energy with upwards motion. If the harmonic story curve of your voices has a general upwards movement, you will build energy and tension in your music. This is a great technique just before a transition into a new section where you want to create more intensity and energy. For example, a into power chorus or something by simply moving your harmonic story curve upwards. So first let me quickly explain what I mean by harmonic motion. So if you have a chord progression, you can shape the actual movement of the individual voices to make an upward motion for the harmless like this, downward more motion if you want to or keep it more straight. By basically transposing everything, creating an average direction for the total harmonic progression. Right? So the first thing, the first example here is these staccato string is where I created an upwards motion in direction. These are the, as the base notes and bases does what they do independently, but basically check what your entire chord progression DUS over, over time like this. So here we can actually hear how building energy and excitement by having this upward motion. And often these works great in combination with increasing in this case, when you go up in direction, the average dynamics over time basically creating a slight crescendo here, resolve with downwards motion. So actually this leads to the opposite direction, a general downwards movement of your harmonic voices in your chord progression, which creates a sense of reassortment, settling down and is a great way to end with if you want to follow with a lower energy section, as well as in the final outro and cadence of your music. If you want, your composition with the relaxed and resolved mood. Alright, so here I took the same chord progression, they won. You can see up here B-flat, G minor, F, B flat, and so on. And I recorded and other performance on piano, not as static and stiff as boring one bar block chords, but an actual performance. And you can see that here I am using downwards motion for the progression. And if we listen to this, and by the way, I have a slight decrease in dynamics as well. If we listen to this in context or just individually, by the way, you can hear how it resolves and calms down the energy. Playing in 3, 2, 1. Stability with straight motion. So if you shape your chord voicing is so that the harmonic motion is pretty much a straight line. You will create a very stable mood. This can be a good way to make sure the chord progression is blending into the background because it's so static. This will work great for subtle, underscoring, ambient, atmospheric and relaxing music, et cetera. Basically, you can use straight harmonic motion whenever you want your chords and harmonies to blend into the background of your mix. So here I recorded strings and the same chord progression as I have written down up here. But I've used chord inversions and voicings to make it more like a straight line as you can see. And in the case of two chords sharing the same notes, I just joined them to get even less movement because this node stays the same throughout these two chords, for example. So let's listen to how that can sell. Intensity with chaotic motion. Now the main guideline for voice-leading is that you should try to minimize the voice movement and use smaller intervals when transitioning from chord to chord. And also that you should make the harmonic curve over time slow and gradual, like breathing or waves in nature. But every rule has an exception, which means that you can actually go crazy with the harmonic motion to make your progression sound chaotic and intense. So to demonstrate this, I recorded this part here on short strings. And as you can see, the harmonic movement is chaotic to create this action vibe. So let's listen to this and you will hear it in action. Let's watch it at the same time playing in 321. This is especially good for rhythmic writing, of course, and harmless. And we'll create a very intensive and energetic vibe, which can work great in some contexts. For example, chaotic action music, bore music and so on. As always, your creative vision and end goal for your music will guide your choices. So make sure to shape your harmonic storyline with movement and motion that suits your music composition. 22. Low End Clarity: Low and clarity. How do you achieve that low and clarity in your music? And what does this have to do with chords and harmonies? Well, in music composition, you have many octaves where you can distribute all nodes. But what is very important to learn is how the distribution of frequencies work in the various ranges. First and Octavian music corresponds to a doubling in frequency. So if I play a C down here, and then the next one here, that's a double in frequency. And for each C, I double. The fundamental frequency of the note. Though we're range has less room. For example, the note a above middle C on the piano is 440 hertz. That is indeed the standard for our tuning system. Well, if you go up an octave above to the next day, that is the double the frequency. So 880 Hertz. If you go down instead, the a below is 220 hertz Gold on another Octavian, he get to 110, then 255, and then to 27.5 hertz. This is in fact the fundamental frequency of the lowest note of a piano. So did you notice something here? The lower you go in range in the octaves of music. This smaller and tighter, the difference in frequencies become between the notes. This is one of the reasons why the lower Octavian music so easily become muddy in the mix. So if you play a chord in the verbal range on your piano, try it out. It will sound muddy and unfocused. Unless you use this as an effect, it should be in almost all situations avoided. Make the lower octaves Rumi. So how can you solve this issue? As a composer will simply make sure that you have wider gaps for the notes you use in the low range of your composition. This is what will create that clarity and power in the base register. If your basis play one line, let your shadows, for example, pay the same nodes and octave above, double in octaves. As a general guideline, you should be very careful to add any harmonies other than the perfect octaves and the perfect fifths. In the lower octaves of your music, I would say below middle C or so. So let's do a practical example, an exercise. Let's say you want to play a chord, take your piano or midi keyboard, and play the actual code with your right-hand. So let's say a C major chord. Then play the bass in octaves with your left hand. The low end is mainly there in music to provide power, depth, and a focused tonal center for your hormones, your chord progression. So practice this and you can see that it will often sounds best. If you stick to the root node and Octavian the base register with your left hand, and then play the rest of the chord or the full chord with your right hand. You can also experiment by adding the perfect fifth harmony in the base low end, like they're so an F-Major here, as he is a root position, play an F in the base and add the perfect 5th. Like this. Can sound good even though. But as you can hear lower you get. The more important it is to stick to only the Octavius. But you can use, for example, airfare, perfect fifth. And on the road like this, the lower you go, the more space you need between the nodes. So here in the extreme base register, I recommend only using base plus Octavia like this. Finally, I want to show you an example I created to demonstrate the importance of Vo and clarity. So I created this chord progression here on piano. As you can see, I'm using some extra bass notes here. And what's really important is when you change your bass note, especially in the low end, registered like baseline, you want to read a respect those voice changes for your other low end instruments. So the baseline goes like this here. And if you take that and watch it in combination with the piano here, you can see I respect those voice changes here. The Pentagon's down there. When exactly when the base goes down to see here and here as well. The base. And even on other instruments playing sustained notes like the strings hair, I'm also respecting the same change to watch this in combination with the baseline, the lower strings here. So let's listen to it. And it's, it might feel subtle data, but it really adds up. Because as soon as you create some, anything, especially from S3 and below icons, I consider everything from S3 and below to be the low and register of music. That's where you really want to make sure you respect the voice changes to keep the low-end clean. I did this for the brass as well as you can see here. If you look at that in combination with the baseline. So let's just this is the baseline overlaid here. You can see this way. Everything sounds clear and focused in the low end. Because you do not have that clashing, a low range mud that you get if in case, for example, the piano, the brass, didn't respect this note on the baseline that would have created a temporary, even if it's brief here, mud in the low range of your music. 23. High End Focus: High-end focus. So how do you pick which inversions and voicings you should use for your chords in your progressions. Well, that of course, depends on how you want to shape the harmonic story line of your music. You are the composer of the role, but there is a very important aspect that relates to how our, our ears pick up the frequencies and pitches in music. So you already learned that the low end range is usually the root note in octaves in the base to provide the depth, power, and focused tonal center of your progression. The opposite to this is the high range of your hormone is basically our ears focus the most on the highest voice of any chord, so that the top note of every chord is what we hear the most. It is, of course, depending on the loudness and dynamics of each voice and the levels in the mix of your overall music and so on. But for any chord, we generally pick up the highest notes the most. So let's say if you, for example, play a D minor and then go into G minor and perhaps too, B flat. Now, if you voice your chords in a way so that these top voice here is what leads and guides the listener. You can do something like this. For example, start here perhaps on this inversion of the D. Then if you want the voice leading, that voice focus to go from F to G, well, use G minor in this inversion, so, and then you want to go to this note here. So use B flat in this conversion. So like this, perhaps back to f. So this is the, now the top voice, the focus boys, the high-end focus. And then to g, something like that. The great thing about this is that you as a composer, can guide the listener's attention with your chords by choosing which note you play on top. So let me give you a practical example. Now this is the leading melody from the Thor movie soundtrack from the Avengers universe. So it goes something like this, from a TA to be flat to F and E, and so on. So now when you voice your course, you can use your highest voice to accent and really push forward that leading melody note. So it starts on F-major. But since this is the top, the melodic voice, choose this inversion. And then you go to F here. And you can use B flat major. And then it goes up here. So you can go directly. This, the same cohort, B flat. But from this, and move up this to an octave higher, and then to F and E. Well, in this case the chord progression is c sus4 and then to C major, so again, and so on. So let me show you a practical example in my DAWs here, I have the leading melody played on strings. Okay? Then I double that's on the wind. Crc can see these are actually playing in unison. So both of them applying. Now is that some color to it or ice, then I have a baseline. But the point is here are the core progressions on the piano. So what I did is I have the code here and record here, but I choose to chord voicing. So that's this top voice. You hear is the exact same melody as the strings here while reading Melody. And this way, you listen to everything while we watch in the piano roll. You really emphasize that leading melody. So let's take a listen. And of course it these case, I'm simply playing the block quarters, which is very stiff and boring to be honest, but it's just for demonstration purposes to show you each chord change here. And at the top voice is what guides the listener's attention. Remember that the high and focus for your top harmonic voice is what the listener will hear the most. So use that to your advantage when you compose your music. Now, keep in mind that in this specific example, I actually went all in meaning that I emphasized every single melodic note in the chord progression by using the high-end focus to layer with the melodic sequence. But this is not what you usually do. Of course, what you do as a composer is to creatively choose where and when and for how long. The notes in your melodic sequence, you want to emphasize accent with your harmonic storyline. So whenever you do that, that is when you get the most attention and focus for those melodic now, so you might want to use the high end, the voice leading to extend these notes here, but then you have the different voice-leading, for example, here. And then you extend these nodes and so on. And of course, there is no rule that you have to use this high-end focus to layer, would you leading melody at all? It's just another tool you have as a composer. Try this out on your midi keyboard or piano by playing the same chord progression using various inversions for each chord to shape which note is the highest. You will instantly here how the top voice really directs your attention and guides you through the chord progression. 24. Voice Weight: Voice, weight, the weight of all your notes for all instruments and sounds is an incredibly important aspect for the overall sound. This is what I call voice weight. And it is basically how much power each voice of your corporation gets. So let me quickly show you what I mean on piano for. So let's say you have standard C minor triad chord like this. Well, now if I play the root note here at a louder dynamics, and these are the two lower dynamics that voice will have more voice weight. Also, if I double it in octaves like here in the base, and you get 33 layers of Cs here, which will give it, of course, more weight. And if I use another instrument to layer this here, for example, a breast trombone or something to layer this one. This see in the, in the entire court hear that voice will get even more, wait, wait from sounds. One of the main ways to control the weight of a voice inside your core progression is by what instruments you assigned to play it. Some instruments are more harmonically rich and dense, or in other words, more powerful, while others are more laid back, mellow and light, like a thick brass sound versus a light or. So. For example, let's say one of the instruments playing a harmonic voice in your progression, we'll play this line is C, E flat, G, and B flat. Well, if you play that on a thick brass patch, that will have more weight for that voice in your harmonic storyline compared to a light harm. Wait, from doubling. Another way to increase the weight of any specific voice in your harmonic progression is to double it with more instruments. For example, let's say you have a cello playing one of your voices. You can add a French horn playing the same line, which of course will give that harmonic voice more weight in your music composition. The more layers you double a line with, the more weight that voice will get. And you can do this in unison or in octaves. So let's say one of your voices in your harmonic storyline goes something like this around the C minor. Okay? Now let's say your main voice is played by shallows in the lower range like this. Now if you double it on French horns playing in unison. So the same range here, it will be thicker and have more weight compared to listen to when the horns come in. And if you layer it an octave below or above any octave layering with also give that boys more weight. So I have chosen o bow here an octave higher. I will probably lowered the dynamics here on the oboe are just playing live here, but you get the main point here, the voice weight from layering, weight from Dynamics. Another aspect you can shape the weight of each voice of your core progressions is by the dynamics the instruments play each note. Let's take a look at this example here, I have shallows, violas and violins, all forming a standard C minor chord, C, E flat, and G. Now, I have shaped the voice weight by choosing to have the viola's playing the third at a lower dynamic level, as you can see here. If you look at these curves, the channels and the violins playing average louder dynamics throughout denote violin, viola us that play the third, play much lower dynamics and it sounds like this. Wait, from mixing. Finally, you can control the weight of each voice in your music by using production and mixing techniques. The track level is of course the most obvious, but also panning EQ in saturation, compression, et cetera. Basically shaping how fat versus thin the instrument playing that voice in your core progression is in your mix. So for example, you can use levels here for each track playing a harmonic voice in your music. You can use an EQ filter, a panning, and so on, stereo width. So let me show you what I did here on the harmony group folder. So every track inside this is treated on this group. So in most cases you want to push your harmonies back into the background of your mix to leave room in the high range for your melodic reefs, themes and so on. So here I'm using a plug-in and a warm setting. You can use an EQ or filter to just push the high frequencies down in the mix. Or. And also in some cases you may want to scoop out something here in the focus frequencies around one to three kilohertz, because that's when we're our ears hear the most between somewhere around here, 12 to the overall, you get a much warmer tone for your hominis. You want to push them back into the background. I also use stereo imagery to push them to the sides, increasing the width. Here, I'm using a compressor to tame the dynamics so they don't become too prominent anywhere in the mix. And as I said, you can also use an EQ or filter. So without everything, It sounds like this. Now with everything active. And I'm also going to show you in the piano roll editor. And we'll listen to this. So let's remove that. And if I zoom in now you can see the actual code voices. For example, here we have a D minor go into G minor. Let's check the layering. You have D at the bottom and octave above. Then another D here. Perfect fifth. So an a here. Here comes a D again, and so on. So you can really see the way ring for the voice weight that I've chosen. Also the different dynamic dynamics. So the base goes like this. The choir goes like that and so on. So I formed with Dynamics not only on the sustaining notes, but also for this on the and velocity level. And of course, if you use short articulations, this gives more air in between the nodes like this, which don't take up as much room as long. Sustained note. So now when I use everything in context, including all these extra mixing and production techniques, it sounds like this. Let's watch it. And you can really hear how warm the overall tone is for the entire harmony mixing group, which leaves plenty of room for your leading melodies, reefs, and motifs to cut through in your mix. 25. 7 Secrets on writing Amazing Chord Progressions: Hello music creators, would you like to ride chord progressions that sound amazing, going from a symbol, stiff and boring chord progression like this. Pretty bad right? Into something beautiful, evolving, expressive, and dynamic like this. So in this video, you will learn seven secrets to writing amazing chord progressions. Let's dive right in tip number one, chord inversions. So if we take a look at this example again, this sketch track for the courts, that's going G minor, G minor, and then C. But I use them in root position, meaning I play the lowest note of the chord, the D, then the F, and then the a for the D minor. But you can in fact transpose the note an octave up or down to create a smoother transition. So for example here, if I take this top note on the second chord, transpose it down an octave, you don't get these huge jumps. Let's do it on this as well. Now, they sound much smoother when connected like this. So you can of course, transpose up or down in range and create these inversions to create smoother transitions sounding better. And I also recommend that you reduce the velocity level to make them softer. Okay, so that's tip number one. The next one is chord voicings. So this is important because the first one here is just the inversions. But if you check the voicings, here is where you can actually double some of the voices. So if you have a D minor chord, D, F, and a, you can double the root node D on the base to make it more prominent and focused. And you can also arrange them in various ways. So here you have between the bass note and the next note, there's a lot of space which gives more headroom to other instruments and sounds in your music such as your melodies, riffs, and so on. So you can, if you want to take the middle note, for example, the middle line here. Let's just listen to this first here. Just adding the base year. Now, this is closed Position, closed chord voicing. Between these. Here you have open voicings be because you have coordinates from this D minor chord that are not used creating this space here. So let's say you take this node in the middle here and transpose it upwards, an octet that creates more air, more gap, more space in between the court voices, which creates more open sound and gives room for your important themes, reefs, melodies and so on. Creating something like this. Still smooth voice leading, but more open voicing. So that's the chord voicings. And by the way, an important lesson here is I only play on piano, but you can use these chord voicings to have this one played on brass. And so on. Tip number 3 is voice leading. So again, the chord inversions create the voice leading. But another way is that between the cords, you can have this going, for example, not between this and this, but actually using a note from the scale in between to create an uneven, smoother transition. And if we check the previous example here, you see that's a one core called per bar here. But if you use chord inversions in such a way that they share the same note like I did here with chord inversion, taking it, this one, this one here, bragging it, transposing in an octave down. Then you can join those notes to create an even smoother voice leading transition between the course because they share that note. And then I took this bass note like this. So it was like this before. I slice it up. And then use another scale note as a transition, creating more voice loops. So let's listen to that like so. And here again, join this one and this transition there. And you can of course use days on the internal voices as well. The base is great for this, by the way. Then we come to the next step, which is tip number 4, voice written. So this is really important because what we started with block chords, one chord, every voice inside a core place for the full extension of the chord. So one bar chords, which is boring and stiff. So if you check this, you can use rhythmic comping on guitar or piano to create a pattern. And then each chord voice can have a different pattern. They are independent of each other. Here's an example, I pied also on piano. Same chord progression, D minor, G minor, F, and C and so forth. So you can use that to create various voyage rhythms on the voices and arrange them on different instruments. The next one is what I call transition chords, tip number five. So instead of using just one chord here per bar, or let's say two chord cores per bar. Let's check what happens if you actually use transition chord. So let's say if I play D, and then going to a G minor, I could use a SAS note here in-between. And going from G minor to F, I could keep that be flattened out to create a SAS code here for F, which is what I have done here. As you can see, the voice goes here from there to there, writing this. So from this, which just use the simple courts, but with rhythm, no transition courts, I add a transition chords. And it creates so much more emotion already there. Then we come to tip number six, I believe, which is voice arrangement. And now we get to the cool stuff. So if you check, get rid of those simple piano sounds and go to the full harmony group here where I have a base. Full strings acquire trombones, short samba strings, and short violas. So by voice arrangement, I mean that you can arrange the voices for each chord, chord completely independently on different instruments solo the bass track here takes of course, care of the baseline. Then I have the full strings playing both the bass note here and the chords here. But it doesn't play the full course. I believe it's playing the harmony and then the added base notes. And here you can see all the voice-leading I added also in the middle note, middle line there. And then for the cow acquirers, I used a two note harmony from the same chords. So you don't have to play all the chords. You can set all the voices for each instrument. And then trombones play another line from the voice, from the courts. And you can also have different rhythms completely independently. So these are playing long legato notes, but these short strings here are playing, to know tom, any line at the top with an added Octavia of the base here below, creating this. Right? And then I doubled that with short BioLogos playing a similar pattern, but not exactly like this. So they work in syncopation to create this all that independent variation. But still having the pum, pum, pum, pum, pum core groove there. So that's voice arrangement. Tip number 7 is dynamics and expression. So this is really important. You want to have dynamic variation here in the velocity levels on rhythmic parts. And you have wanted to have movement in the dynamics, creating that evolving sound, which I use the mod wheel for here on the strings, to swell in like waves in nature. Building. And then a ramp up here that creates that beautiful or movement. And you should use this for all the voices. As you can see, I've done it on the choirs and so on here. So those are the seven main tapes. Now, I have some extra bonus tips. So first, the first bonus tip is low, mid range. So what do I mean by this? Well, in most cases, the leading melodies and motifs and briefs, or in the middle range, where usually your, the same range, a human voice sings in. In most cases. So what you'd want to do in most cases is for the harmony to arrange this in such a way that you are playing in the low with the base and shallows, for example, or rhythm guitar or, and so on to mid-range. But note don't usually have too much going on. Like between C 4 and C6 here because if you keep the space there, so let me just show you what I mean. If I take this here, then I take the top line up. Then let's say as I take this one up as well, I don't know. Something. As you can hear it is much brighter and more in focus that way. But that, that would most the important leading melodies. If I take them here, see if I saw them, I unloaded them. Anyway. I think you can understand what I mean here. So what you want to do is to arrange them in such a way that they are playing in a lower register. In most cases. So that is bonus tip number 1. Keep it in the low to low made and mids below C4 for the most part, 4, if you bought that background kind of sound for the hormone is in quotes, which in most cases you do tip bonus. Tip number 2 is performance variations. So on the baseline you can slap, you can use pole mutes if you use an electric or acoustic bass. Or you can use more cultures on some notes, you know, switch it up. The most. The best example for this is where I use these short strings here. Because what I have done is shake this with the articulation. I've added more photos here and here on the most important beats. Then I'm using stock photos on these light blue. And there's, this is actually the run mode for Ashley lecture. Use them here. Just for those spices. So check out this in the run mode which create this. And that takes us to the next part of this performance variation. So the articulations. And also adding spice and feels like I did here with the instructor that, that, that, that data and metadata, but it'll spice there in variation, creates so much added interests. And then ideally with the violence as well here. And so on. So that is performance variations, the articulations and playing styles to spice it up. And wellness tip number 3 is mix your chords and harmonies into the background, which she, in one way to do this is to actually play them in the lower ranges. So from around C4 or there and below. But also playing in the lower dynamics. Meaning, if we check this here, do not play a man. If I take this up all the way here, Let's say they are much too high in dynamics. Let me see if I want to check them in the velocity or so. I mean, if you go like this, there are two prominent. So in most cases you want your harmonies to be lower dynamics, especially on long notes like this. Inquiry and trombones. So you want to go, if we check here, this is like met so forth. You want to basically have the highest position around metaphor. Yeah, around the mid, upper media and then below. I can even go lower if you wanted to, Let's bring it even lower like that. Because then they will be softer. Again to leave room for your melodies briefs in main themes and hooks. And in other ways do this East in the production aspect, for example, on these strings here, if we saw them and I load up the library, which is this one of flatus full strings lungs. I unloaded the close Mike positions. Let me show you the difference here. So the close mikes positions. And I have actually used solo de know as the articulation, which is a softer yielded articulation on strings. Before I did this, it will sound much more focused on shore. Playing sardine articulation makes them seem clear that removing the close mikes pushes them back. And altogether, that creates this softer sound. You can of course use filters and EQ to do this as well. The push it into the background, which takes us to the final bonus tip, which is the overrule production aspect here, I like to use. I often use this plug-in, but basically you can use a filter or rekey for this and I'll set it at the warm setting. Compare, compared to, let's say I use it a bright, which is basically an EQ boost in the higher range. Now, I want it warmer, like that compared to it removes those high sharp focused frequencies. I also like to use some little bit of saturation to just blended into the mix with also some to push it to the side is also to give room for your focused middle sounds like the sounds in the center, which in most cases is your main vocals, leading melodies, hooks, reefs, and so on. So I use a stereo, widened her just a bit like 20 percent or so because you are using it on the full group here, which adds some depth, I turn it on now. Just a bit of added space and depth to push it like that. And then some final compression. You can probably use it in parallel node like 5050 here. Still keep it. Keep some of the dynamics. Be careful with the compression on orchestral instruments, by the way, so that those are all my best tips for writing core progressions that sound amazing. I hope you will try this out for yourself and I will see you in the next video. 26. Congratulations: Congratulations my friend. You have now learn the foundations, the advanced techniques and guidelines, the sounds, colors, playing styles, and a little creative ways to shape the story line of your music, which is what hormones and all progressions really all. I recommend that you take action now on everything you have learned in this course, go back and re-watch lessons if you like. But the most important thing is that you practice every single aspect you want to truly master because nothing beats learning from doing. My name is Mike, and I wish you great success of your journey in music.