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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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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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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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Difference between Major and Minor scales

All related major and minor pairs

A musician needs to memorize all the related major-minor pairs as this is very useful for songwriting and improvisation. Feel free to create a mnemonic to make it easier to remember. I memorized these just by playing them over and over,…

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Related major and minor for all the diatonic modes

The seven diatonic modes that we studied previously (click here) can be categorised between major and minor flavoured modes. Just how every major key has a related minor and vice versa, all the modes also have a related key which can…

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Mixolydian mode

The third brightest of all modes is the Mixolydian mode. If you are not familiar with the ranking of modes from brightest to darkest, please read this before moving onto the Mixolydian mode. One very useful thing to remember is that…

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7 modes of the major scale and their applications (Part 1)

The first two columns of the following table provides the names of all 7 modes of the major scale and their tonal characteristics. The third column gives a ranking of the modes based on how they sound. This is the first…

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