Hold on

Please enable javascript to use this site

JTC relies on javascript to function, please enable in your browser to get the full JTC experience.


Blog


In search of the right chord

Thursday 20th October 2011 Hints And Tips

When people start writing their own songs, they often get stuck because they don't know which notes and chords sound good together. It's great when you can write a fully formed song by ear, but in reality we usually have to take simple ideas and work at them... swapping chords around, trying different alternatives. This process is a lot quicker if you know some music theory! If you've already started writing melodies or riffs, you're probably using a scale. Let's use the G major scale...

 

Now, a scale isn't just a bunch of notes for playing solos... it's a whole MUSICAL WORLD! Every scale also has a set of chords that usually sound pretty good together. There are no guarantees, but it's better than making wild guesses. The chords follow a standard pattern for every scale, and this is called the 'Diatonic Sequence'.

 

Those chords only use notes from the G major scale. You could make up chord progressions using those chords and build melodies and riffs over the top using the scale notes (or vice versa). You might not get perfection right away, but the results shouldn't sound too terrible. Take note of that sequence: major, minor, minor, major, major, minor, diminished. It's the same for EVERY SINGLE major scale. All twelve of them. Let's take E major as an example. The notes are E F# G# A B C# D#, and the diatonic chords are therefore... E major - F# minor - G# minor - A major - B major - C# minor - D# diminished Or check out Jack Thammarat's amazing instrumental 'Tokyo Trip', available as an exclusive download package from our online store. This song is in the key of E major, so Jack has used the E major scale for his cool melodies, and the chords from the E diatonic sequence for the chords. Here's a section from the verse...

   

All the notes in the lead part and the chords are from the E major scale. The A/E chord just means you're playing an A chord, but with an E note in the bass. Here's another clip from later on...   

Again, all the chords are in the list above, but as you can see, they're all 7th chords. We'll look at those in the next lesson, but for now, have a look at the whole video for Jack's track. Remember, you can buy the package from our online store, and it includes high-quality video, audio, backing track and full Tab!

 

In search of the right chord

Thursday 20th October 2011 Hints And Tips

When people start writing their own songs, they often get stuck because they don't know which notes and chords sound good together. It's great when you can write a fully formed song by ear, but in reality we usually have to take simple ideas and work at them... swapping chords around, trying different alternatives. This process is a lot quicker if you know some music theory! If you've already started writing melodies or riffs, you're probably using a scale. Let's use the G major scale...

 

Now, a scale isn't just a bunch of notes for playing solos... it's a whole MUSICAL WORLD! Every scale also has a set of chords that usually sound pretty good together. There are no guarantees, but it's better than making wild guesses. The chords follow a standard pattern for every scale, and this is called the 'Diatonic Sequence'.

 

Those chords only use notes from the G major scale. You could make up chord progressions using those chords and build melodies and riffs over the top using the scale notes (or vice versa). You might not get perfection right away, but the results shouldn't sound too terrible. Take note of that sequence: major, minor, minor, major, major, minor, diminished. It's the same for EVERY SINGLE major scale. All twelve of them. Let's take E major as an example. The notes are E F# G# A B C# D#, and the diatonic chords are therefore... E major - F# minor - G# minor - A major - B major - C# minor - D# diminished Or check out Jack Thammarat's amazing instrumental 'Tokyo Trip', available as an exclusive download package from our online store. This song is in the key of E major, so Jack has used the E major scale for his cool melodies, and the chords from the E diatonic sequence for the chords. Here's a section from the verse...

   

All the notes in the lead part and the chords are from the E major scale. The A/E chord just means you're playing an A chord, but with an E note in the bass. Here's another clip from later on...   

Again, all the chords are in the list above, but as you can see, they're all 7th chords. We'll look at those in the next lesson, but for now, have a look at the whole video for Jack's track. Remember, you can buy the package from our online store, and it includes high-quality video, audio, backing track and full Tab!

 

In search of the right chord

Thursday 20th October 2011 Hints And Tips

When people start writing their own songs, they often get stuck because they don't know which notes and chords sound good together. It's great when you can write a fully formed song by ear, but in reality we usually have to take simple ideas and work at them... swapping chords around, trying different alternatives. This process is a lot quicker if you know some music theory! If you've already started writing melodies or riffs, you're probably using a scale. Let's use the G major scale...

 

Now, a scale isn't just a bunch of notes for playing solos... it's a whole MUSICAL WORLD! Every scale also has a set of chords that usually sound pretty good together. There are no guarantees, but it's better than making wild guesses. The chords follow a standard pattern for every scale, and this is called the 'Diatonic Sequence'.

 

Those chords only use notes from the G major scale. You could make up chord progressions using those chords and build melodies and riffs over the top using the scale notes (or vice versa). You might not get perfection right away, but the results shouldn't sound too terrible. Take note of that sequence: major, minor, minor, major, major, minor, diminished. It's the same for EVERY SINGLE major scale. All twelve of them. Let's take E major as an example. The notes are E F# G# A B C# D#, and the diatonic chords are therefore... E major - F# minor - G# minor - A major - B major - C# minor - D# diminished Or check out Jack Thammarat's amazing instrumental 'Tokyo Trip', available as an exclusive download package from our online store. This song is in the key of E major, so Jack has used the E major scale for his cool melodies, and the chords from the E diatonic sequence for the chords. Here's a section from the verse...

   

All the notes in the lead part and the chords are from the E major scale. The A/E chord just means you're playing an A chord, but with an E note in the bass. Here's another clip from later on...   

Again, all the chords are in the list above, but as you can see, they're all 7th chords. We'll look at those in the next lesson, but for now, have a look at the whole video for Jack's track. Remember, you can buy the package from our online store, and it includes high-quality video, audio, backing track and full Tab!

 

Show More
25% DISCOUNT

Get 25% OFF your next order!*

Sign up to our newsletter and we'll send you a discount code for you to use against your next order! If you're a Premium Member - this is on top of the 25% discount you already receive!

If you're already a member, please enter your account email address.
* Only 1 discount code redeemable per person, valid for 1 month from receipt.
×

Get 25% OFF your next order! 25% DISCOUNT

Sign up to our newsletter and we'll send you a discount code to use against your next order!

If you're already a member, please enter your account email address.