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Modal interchange: Andalusian cadence and Neapolitan 2

Modal interchange means borrowing chords from a parallel mode. Many significant such modal interchanges are widely used and hence quite popular among composers and songwriters. Both Andalusian cadence and Neapolitan 2 are examples of borrowing chords from the Phrygian mode. Given…

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Use of half diminished chords in popular music

Diminished chords are inherently very strong due to the presence of tritones in them and therefore not the best-sounding chords in contemporary pop music. However, we often do see the use of half-diminished chords as passing chords in modern pop songs…

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2 very popular minor progressions

These are two of my favourite and also two very popular minor progressions: Minor progression 1: (Sensitive female chord progression) i      bVII     bVI    III (In the key of Em this translates as Em  D   C   G) Minor…

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Lead note, Bass note and Guide tone: Three essential elements of chords

When we play a chord, we mostly focus on the chord quality and they key. It is true that if we play the right type of chord on the correct key, it will sync with the song. However, to make the…

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Learning the chord progression of a song by ear

There are numerous ways musicians learn songs by ear. Some methods are faster and more efficient, others are time consuming but more accurate. This method that I follow can be a little time consuming. But following this method, not only you…

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Essential and Nonessential tones

An essential tone is a note that belongs to the harmony (chord) that’s played on top of that note. On the other hand notes that don’t belong to the underlying harmony is labelled as nonessential tones. Nonessential tones are also known…

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Consonant vs Dissonant intervals

In music, certain intervals sound melodic and soothing to the ears. whereas some intervals sound harsh and unresolved. The intervals that are soothing are labelled as consonants. This includes unison, major and minor thirds, perfect 4th, perfect 5th, major and minor…

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Triads

When it comes to chords, I like to categorise chords in 3 broad categories. We have the different types of dyads which are 2 note chords, mostly used as power chords in rock/heavy music. Then we have the triads, the most…

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Major 7th, minor 7th and dominant 7th chords

In general there are 5 different types of 7th chords that are often played by guitar players in different genres. Other than the three we are discussing in this post,  the two other 7th chord shapes are called half diminished chord…

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Secondary Dominant

Secondary Dominant refers to the use of dominant chords of any diatonic chord. Diatonic chord in simple and practical terms mean ‘in the key of’. So the diatonic chords in the key of C are: C  Dm  Em  F  G  Am …

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