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Mastering Metal Songwriting

Lesson 21 of 28

Chord Colors Exercise

Eyal Levi

Mastering Metal Songwriting

Eyal Levi

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Lesson Info

21. Chord Colors Exercise

Lesson Info

Chord Colors Exercise

Well, um, I want to give. I want to move on to cords real quick. And, uh, I'm going Teoh again. Talk about some things that are probably probably seemingly basic Teoh to some of you guys. But if you actually get good at this, it's not. It's not that basic, and you'll actually get a lot better. So I'm just gonna give you a quick primer on cords and harmony. Um, reason that another reason I want to do this is because a lot of misconception metal about what melody and harmony is. Um, and lots of times you'll have people playing harmony parts to to note harmonies. And people will think that those air cords or think that's a melody really won't understand what's what it's based off of and what it's built on. And if you actually understand what chords air behind everything, you can actually build entire sections, uh, new sections for songs without having to come up with an intricate riff every single time. So I mean, sure, a lot of you know that cores Air three plus notes which make harmony ...

it doesn't matter if you play them at the same time, or Europe edgy, ate them. Uh, you can spread them out across multiple instruments. And Ah, besides, I wanna change something that I said besides rhythm, the probably the single biggest influence on the mood feel of a song because, uh, they defined the key. Um, a major progression that the first thing I played, the easy key is a completely different mood than a mine earthy minor progression. And, um, you could have a song all based off of a really good rhythm in one cord, and it could be a really good song, but what core that is how you use it will basically be the whole game. So I don't think you need to actually learn this to a, uh, science level. But if you do, it won't hurt you. And at the very, very least, have you get easy keys, this menu option? Go here and learn this. It will not hurt your writing one bit. So anyways, some things you can do on ah, on the guitar in order. Teoh, get quicker with all this. Um, have the keynote back, please. Thank you very much. Um, one thing to do is grab this guitar is, um don't spend too long on this, but just goes, I would just do it. You learn accord, you learn a progression. Just learning a few different positions. Like, uh, I don't understand what people don't do this more often. But if, um, you know that you can play this year or there or there, that makes all the difference in the world and the faster you get at going between different inversions or that whatever the quicker you're gonna be a look at coming up with court progressions. And that's not something that you need to practice to a metre newme. Six hours a day. It's something that you can do in, like, two minutes. Um, I'm gonna actually include tabs for ah, bunch of different chords in every position on the neck and all the different inversions. But, uh, I definitely think that you should learn how to do this because, um, if you again if you know that you can do this whatever, uh, house of the Rising Sun, then you also know that you can do that super, super basic. But, um, it will make you way faster. Um, we'll talk about the mood. Of course, this is all super intuitive, almost. But one thing that a lot of people I'm noticed don't entirely understand is what a what a cord color is, and they get them confused a lot. And I think that one thing that you can do in your listening analysis is, uh, once you know, you want to get better at understanding certain type of cord color is associate it with something you like. That already does it. It's a very, very simple trick. Um, like, let's make sure his guitar doesn't fall Cool. Um, this is a simple ear training trick, and this is You can do this with melodies like, for instance, if you want to get good at spotting fifth, pick a song where the Where the melody goes root Fifth, get that in your head, and then whenever you hear that sound another song you'll have association in your mind. You'll always be able to spot it so a lot of people will confuse minor augmented and diminished chords. So, um, a thing to do is just identify them in songs that you like, and some of these examples I'm not gonna play because we'll get in trouble. But I wrote them down because they're so famous. And you all know them that they illustrate the point. Um, if, uh if you're not exactly sure the difference between how a minor chord sounds in a diminished quarters sounds just listen to the intros. She's so heavy. And that's how a minor chord sounds. And once you have that in your head, once you identify that enough songs, you're good. You know what it sounds like. So I would definitely add that to your listening analysis. Um, sit down and figure this stuff out. All right, let's move on, Teoh. Actually doing this in your writing. Um, so one thing that I've done that has helped me out is try Teoh. Try to take you rhythm pattern that you like of some sort, and then cycle it through different court colors. And one thing that you'll that you'll pick up from that you'll realize that you don't need to be. You don't even need a chord progression or key changes to change the mood of a song. Sometimes you just need to change the color Ah, major to minor or augmented to major or whatever, but this is not something that you'll immediately understand until you try it. So again, just like the motif exercise, just set some constraints, like you're gonna go through these four chord colors, pick a rhythm and go for it. So this was one I came up with. All right, So what's going on there? Basically, this is all played in the same exact place on the guitar, and all I did was go through basically the sound of playing fifth cords. Two minor chords major two dominant seven back to minor to root fifth and again, all in the same spot. But what you can hear is that every single time that the court color changes, the the mood changes completely. Like you listen to the difference between minor and major in the same spot. It's radically different. Just go and ah, you know you can. You can put whatever descriptive word you want on that difference in sound. But that's one note difference. Literally, Um, which changes the entire mood, I guess you could say from sad Teoh, hopeful or whatever, but again, literally Onley. One note is different in those cords. You just need to make tiny, tiny changes in order influence. Thea entire mood of something. So again, take your motif exercise. And this was a hold different Moti really motif I came up with said bore you guys too much. But take your motif exercise once you have one that you like, then cycle it through different court colors and pick them in advance. Say you're going to go like something I just did. You're gonna go from 52 minor to Major dominant seven minor fists. Cool. There's your exercise. Now, you kind of know how that sound works. Um or say, uh, everyone talks about, uh, diminished to major And how those sound back to back. So cycle through that Cool. You're good. And, uh, that is just one step up in complexity. Um, where you can make huge changes to your music without getting into any complex theory, key changes or any of that kind of stuff. So, one second, um, another thing you can do is, uh, get that keynote dudes. Thank you, Um, arpeggio at your cords. Now, one thing about our PGA tions that this is not a sweet picking exercise or any of that bullshit that guitar players do says cord colors again. Um, It's just our paginated cords or a whole other feel for, um, very simple musical device. If you learn how to arpeggio at your chord colors, you can arguably make some very cool things. So take the same the same chord color movements and just make on arpeggio exercise out of it. And, uh, the thing I would do is set constraints like you're going to go through it and one octave on you're not going to go for, like, some sweep tapping where you forget what you're doing. I don't know what frets or what, and it sounds a certain way. Keep it toe one octave through a few different court colors. And then once you have that down, add some stuff. So basically, we're going to hear here is, uh, a basically minor major augmented back to Major and then just ah, going up in going up on inversions really simple stuff. But it sounds kind of cool when you play when you play faster when you get the right chord colors back to back. Now, uh, I don't think that that's like the most amazing thing in the world, but like I literally wrote that in about seven minutes. Um, and I know guys that will spend hours and days trying to come up with our paginated guitar lines that do that kind of thing because they don't know what they're doing. It takes too long. But if you just know you're going through some court colors, you're going up inversions, and you have that part of your vocabulary down. Uh, cool. Little things like that don't need to take forever so that one more time, and, uh, there's nothing complicated about that. Uh, it's ah, the same exact ideas when I went through the slow cords just played in a whole different way.

Class Description

It’s easy for musicians to get so caught up in the latest gear, plugins, and presets, and forget that ultimately, it’s all about the music. Join Eyal Levi and special guests Ryan Clark (Demon Hunter), Todd Jones (Nails, Terror), and John Browne (Monuments) for an in-depth exploration of what it takes to craft great songs.

Eyal will share the tricks of the songwriting trade he’s learned over years of experience as a producer at Audiohammer Studios (The Black Dahlia Murder, August Burns Red, Whitechapel) and guitarist for Century Media/Roadrunner artists Daath. Throughout this two-day course, you’ll learn everything you need to know about the three core components of metal/rock songwriting. You’ll learn about basic song structure and riff-writing; melodies, leads, and vocals; and fine-tuning the arrangement to take your song from good to great. Eyal will be joined by special guests -- from musicians to producers and more -- who will empower you to take your songwriting to new heights.

Class Materials

bonus material with purchase

Metal Songwriting Slides Session 1

Metal Songwriting Slides Session 2

Ratings and Reviews

Student Work

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user 6f3d0a

Eyal and all the guests are awesome here and really provide a solid education on Songwriting and writing within the Metal genre. One thing that Eyal said that really struck a chord with me, was how Songwriting was being taught at the music school he dropped out of and how it was uninspiring. I completely and thoroughly agree. I own many, many books and videos on Songwriting and I cannot get past the first few pages because it doesn't speak to me and my needs as a Songwriter who is focused on writing Metal. I've been playing Guitar for 25 years now and this is the very first course I've seen that takes Metal songwriting seriously and as a subject worth studying. I would like to commend CreativeLive on having the guts to feature heavy music so prominently in their courses and thank them for helping us establish Metal as a more serious genre. One that is worthy of awards, praise, distinction and honor. In Metal and Strength, R. Ross Strength Keeper Songwriting/Guitars/Vocals/Arranging

Mike Lamb

This was a massively inspirational and incredibly helpful course. By the end of it I had a notebook full of incredibly useful tips and tricks, and I definitely plan a rewatch as soon as possible. I've been in bands writing songs for the better part of 15 years, but this has put a lot of focus on some of the corners I've cut or the areas where I've been lazy with the smaller details. No matter where you are in your songwriting you'll definitely benefit from this, and Eyal articulates everything in an engaging way and positive way. Even if you think you're a good songwriter, there's a tonne here you can benefit from. 10/10 - Thanks Eyal!

Marco Ramírez

Great course, I have enjoyed it a lot and I'm sure I will come back to reinforce many of the concepts shown through the videos. Right now I'm good to go with ideas to apply to my songwriting skills and reinforce several concepts I already had developed prior to this course. This is a great lesson series... even for advanced musicians, anyone can get stuck in this wonderful world of writing and this course shows you tools to get out the best of this process.