Song writing skills Chords

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Song writing skills Chords

  1. 1. Songwriting skills - Chords <ul><li>Chords are one of the basic building blocks of music. They are groups of notes made up of 1, 3 and 5 based on a root note from the scale. </li></ul><ul><li>Chords create the “Harmony” in the music, and direct the melody. They create the direction in the music </li></ul>
  2. 2. Song Writing Skills - Chords <ul><li>There are 3 primary chords, I, IV and V in any key. These are chords based on the first, fourth and fifth notes of any scale (key) </li></ul><ul><li>Eg: A B C# D E F# G# A </li></ul>A C# E D F# A E G# B
  3. 3. Song Writing Skills - Chords <ul><li>Chords can also be based on the other notes of the scale, but are not used as frequently. </li></ul><ul><li>A B C# D E F# G# A </li></ul><ul><li>B D F C# E G# F# A C# G# B D </li></ul><ul><li>These are called Secondary chords, and are used to provide colour to the harmony. They are generally not used at the ends of phrases </li></ul>
  4. 4. Song Writing Skills - Chords <ul><li>There are 2 major types of Chords, Major and Minor. </li></ul><ul><li>The Primary Chords are Major, and are described as bright or happy sounding. </li></ul><ul><li>Most of the Secondary Chords are Minor and are described as dark or sad sounding. </li></ul>
  5. 5. Song Writing Skills - Chords <ul><li>Cadences. A cadence is a selection of chords which end sections, like a full stop after a sentence. There are a wide variety of cadences, however the two most important are called “Perfect” and “Plagal” </li></ul><ul><li>Perfect is a V - I cadence (Major) </li></ul><ul><li>Plagal is a IV - I cadence. (Major) </li></ul>
  6. 6. Song Writing Skills - Chords <ul><li>Practical Activity </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Load up Band in a Box on the Mac computers, and insert primary chords in the key of D Major in random order. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>At the end of each 8 bars, place a cadence , Plagal or Perfect </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>(G - D) ( A - D) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Now substitute some chords (not at the ends of a phrase) for secondary chords in D Major (these will be minor chords, so will need to have an “m” placed after them to tell the computer what to do. </li></ul><ul><li>Press Play, and try varying the style. You have just written a chord progression in D Major. </li></ul>
  7. 7. Song Writing Skills: Melody <ul><li>In the same way as Chords are based on a Key (scale) so too are ‘melodies’. Whether you choose to use a scale or not, your ear will naturally move to a set of pitches that you are familiar with, from a technical point of view, (for writing chords etc) it makes sense to “Know” what group of notes </li></ul><ul><li>your ear has chosen. </li></ul>
  8. 8. Song Writing Skills - Melody <ul><li>Helpful Hints for writing a melody. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Use “Repetition” (same thing over and over) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Use a small group of notes (most pop and rock songs don’t have a full scale, only a few notes, not usually more than 5) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Your pitch (for your melody) should follow the “meaning of the words” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Eg, if you are singing about lost love, melodies going down, reflecting a “sad emotional state” or new love, melodies going up etc. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>A song about dancing should have notes that “dance” around between higher and lower etc. </li></ul></ul></ul>
  9. 9. Song Writing Skills: Harmony <ul><li>Putting Chords with your melody is based on a very simple principle. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Only use chords that have your “Melody Note” in them” . </li></ul></ul><ul><li>If your melody note (the note sung) is an “A” then you must find a chord that has an “A” in it. Examples would be: </li></ul><ul><li>D (D F# A) , A (A C# E) , F (F A C) etc. </li></ul>
  10. 10. Melody Activity: <ul><li>You are to create a melody for the following words: </li></ul><ul><li>“ Some where there’s music, </li></ul><ul><li>How faint the tune, </li></ul><ul><li>Some where there’s heaven, </li></ul><ul><li>How high the moon.” </li></ul><ul><li>- Use only 4 -5 pitches from the D Major Scale. </li></ul><ul><li>Tap a rhythm for the words against a beat. </li></ul><ul><li>Record it using Cubasis on one note, and adjust in harmony assistant (or up to 5 notes on the keyboard) </li></ul><ul><li>Quantize it to “16ths” to tidy up the rhythm. </li></ul><ul><li>Export as a midi and open in harmony assistant, “Print it” </li></ul><ul><li>On your printed score, work out which chord to use for the first and middle note of each bar. (D, G, A, em, f#m, bm, c#m ) </li></ul>
  11. 11. Song Writing Skills: Melody Construction. <ul><li>Where to start with a “new” melody. You can plan a melody just like a “Building” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>1. Choose a small group of notes that are side by side, and alternate between them (scalic) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>2. Start with a “Leap” and follow with step by step movement (balanced Angular / Scalic) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>3. Use note from the chord / 1,3,5 (Triadic) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>4. Use any of these in a combination together. </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. Examples of Finished Songs
  13. 13. Examples of finished Songs. <ul><li>C </li></ul><ul><li>G G G G G G G G E </li></ul><ul><li>It’s the Substance of All we hope for </li></ul><ul><li>Bb C </li></ul><ul><li>G G F F F F E D E </li></ul><ul><li>It’s the certainty of the unseen, </li></ul><ul><li>F C9/E </li></ul><ul><li>C C A A B C C G </li></ul><ul><li>Just a little can move mountains. </li></ul>

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