Monday, 20 September 2010

Chord Writing

5.0.Chord Writing

Once you have selected the key you are going to be in you having to think about the chords you use. Chords in a key can be broken up into numbers between 1 and 8; I am going to use an example of C major. C in the key of C major is the 1st chord, D minor is the 2nd, E minor is the 3rd, F is the 4th, G is the 5th, A is the 6th and B is the 7th. It then comes back to C as the 8th which is an octave higher than the 1st C major. This same pattern of major and minor chords is the same with all major keys

For Major keys the pattern is Major, Minor, Minor, Major, Major, Minor, Diminished
Now the use of chords depends on what sort of mood you want to make. If you want to make the piece sound a bit more depressing but remain in the major key then consider using minor chords while if you want to have a more perky piece consider using major chords.

There are loads of different chords as a chord is two or more notes put together and there so many endless combinations of chords, what is played in the bass and what key the section is in. However I will give you some suggestions that I use in my music writing style however you are free to research your own chords but you have to remember what key you’re in otherwise it will sound incorrect, playing a G major when it should be a G minor can make a section have an overall incorrect feel and will also sound out of place. SO without further ado, here is the list of chords that I use

5.1.Majors and Minors (As standard chords)

7th’s, usually I do it when I am ending a section but you are free to use it at your own risk. A 7th is getting the chord, finding the 7th and adding it to the chord. For example I will sue a C major chord which has C, E and G in it, now if I were to add a 7th this would be adding a B to the chord. This method can be used on both major and minor chords

You can find a seventh by getting the bass note in the chord and by finding either the major or minor 7th. For this I would recommend using this chart which shows note intervals going up in half tones. So to find the 7th you should get your bass note, see which place it is in the key determining if it is major or minor then adding either the 10th or 11th half tone depending on if it is major or minor

0(same note)-unison
1-minor second
2-Major second
3-minor third
4-Major third
5-Perfect fourth
6-Augmented fourth/diminished fifth/"tritone"
7-Perfect fifth
8-minor sixth
9-Major sixth
10-minor seventh
11-Major seventh

So your chords should look like this using a C major and C minor as a diagram

5.2.Major key seventh chord chart

1 (C) Major 7
2 (D) minor 7
3 (E) minor 7
4 (F) Major 7
5 (G) Dominant 7 (aka Major minor 7)
6 (A) minor 7
7 (B) half diminished 7, aka minor 7 flat 5

5.3.Minor Key Chart

1 (C) minor 7
2 (D) half diminished 7 aka minor 7 flat 5
3 (Eb) Major 7
4 (F) minor 7
5 (G) minor 7. This chord is also commonly Dominant 7 (aka Major minor 7), especially when the next chord is 1 (c minor)
6 (Eb) Major 7
7 (Bb) Dominant 7 (aka Major minor 7)

Sus 2’s and sus 4’s. These chords instead of playing the 3rd you will play a second or fourth in the chord. I will show you an example; in D major you play a D, F# and A note, now in a D sus 2 you will play a; D, E, A note. While a D sus 4 you will play a D, G, A notes. As you can see the F# is the removed from both chords and the F# is the 3rd and has been replaced with a major 2nd or a perfect 4th. A useful technique I have discovered is to play a sus chord then resolve it to the regular chord especially when ending a phrase as it sounds really nice. Please do note that sus 2nds won’t be completely tonal when used as a three chord but they can still make your composition sound more interesting

The final chord I use quite regularly is the minor 6ths. A minor sixth is done on a minor chord I find best in a major key. A 6th is a chord that instead of having a 5th has a 6th instead. For example I will use a C major chord; a usual C major chord is C, E and G note in the chord while a 6th has C, E and A note in the chord. Now this same logic applies to a minor chord but I just used a C major chord for easy of example sake
I do encourage you to experiment with the chords though, these are not all the chords I use and they should not be the same chords that you use

1 comment:

  1. i like how the background perfectly matches what your posting in this blogg... great job