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Chords and Inversions - Part 1

Lesson 9 from: Music Theory for Electronic Producers

Tomas George

Chords and Inversions - Part 1

Lesson 9 from: Music Theory for Electronic Producers

Tomas George

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Lesson Info

9. Chords and Inversions - Part 1

<b><p dir="ltr">In this lesson, I show you how to write chords and also invert these chords.&#160;</p><p dir="ltr">Creating chords and using inversions are essential to learn for creating your own electronic music.</p><div><br></div></b>


Class Trailer



Basic Music Theory Terms


Keyboard Layout and Octaves


Working out Major Scales


Perfect 5ths


3rds - Part 1


3rds - Part 2


Perfect 4ths


Chords and Inversions - Part 1


Chords and Inversions - Part 2


Chord Progressions - Part 1


Chord Progressions - Part 2




7th Chords


Chord Extensions


Suspended Chords


The Circle of 5ths


Minor Scales


Chords in the Natural Minor scale


Harmonic and Melodic Minor


Write the Chords, then the Melody


Write the Melody, then the Chords




Writing Bass Parts


Writing Bass Riffs and Adapting Melodies


Song Analysis - Chords, Part 1


Song Analysis - Chords, Part 2


Song Analysis - Melody


Song Analysis - Arrangement


Song 2 Analysis - Arrangement


Song 2 Analysis - Chords


Song 2 Analysis - Melodies


Song 3 Analysis - Chords


Song 3 Analysis - Melodies and Arrangement


Create a Song from a Drum Beat - Part 1


Create a Song from a Drum Beat - Part 2


Create a Song from a Drum Beat - Part 3


Create a Song from a Drum Beat - Part 4


Create a Song from a Chord Progression - Part 1


Create a Song from a Chord Progression - Part 2


Create a Song from a Melody - Part 1


Create a Song from a Melody - Part 2


Modes Intro
















Dorian Mode Example


Pentatonic Scales


Lesson Info

Chords and Inversions - Part 1

Hello. In this lecture, we're going to be looking at chords and which chords we can use for our scale. So previously, we looked at this pattern, tone tone semitone, tone tone tone semitone. And this was so we can work out all the notes in a major scale. So let's just quickly go back to that. And I'll open up my digital audio workstation and let's just write in tone tone, semitone, tone, tone tone semitone to find the notes in our major scale. Then I'm going to show you a little pattern. So you know which chord you can actually play with each note or which note has a separate chord. So let's start on C, let's just draw in a few notes here. So we have C then we need to go up a tone. So upper tone from C is D, upper tone is E. So it's tone tone, then semitone is F, tone is G tone, it's A tone is B and then semitone C. So tone tone semitone tone tone tone semi tone, please don't forget that it's really important. And now for each one of these notes here, we also can play a chord. So we can...

have major chords, minor chords and there's even one diminished chord. So if you remember from before, the pattern for a major chord is five semitones, then four semitones. So let's just start on C so one, so we know already that C major. So the first chord is a major in a major scale 12345 and then 41234, or you can be lazy and just hit the one here, miss one out. So that's 23, missed one out. And that's five. So the first one is ac major. But what are the other ones? And they've actually come up with a pattern or there's a really simple pattern you can use to actually work these out. This might look a bit weird and mathematical, but the pattern is major. Minor, minor, major, major, minor diminished major. The triangle is a major, the minor symbol is a minor and the circle is diminished. This might be a bit weird right now. And I've also written it out like this. The capital M means major. The little M means minor. The dim means diminished. So the first note is a major. The second note is a minor. The third note is a minor. The fourth note is a major. The fifth note is a major. The sixth note is a major, the seventh is a diminished and then it repeats the first again. So any scale, any note we're starting on to any major scale. Oh I use this pattern. Major, minor, minor, major, major, minor diminished major. So try and memorize this major, minor, minor, major, major, minor diminished major. I've also put the Roman numerals. So one capital is major and the little lower case is minor and this little circle means diminished. So it's major minor, minor, major, major, minor diminished major. So let's go back to Ableton Live. So the first note is AC which is major. The second is ad which is minor. The third is A E which is minor. The fourth is an F which is F major. Then we have G major, A minor B diminished and C major. I know this because going back, we know the notes of the, of the scale here. CD EFG ABC if we put this along here. So we have C major D minor, E minor, F major G major A minor B diminished. And then C major, I like to use these personally, it's very similar to kind of jazz lead sheets. They use these symbols. A lot of people do prefer the capital M and some people do prefer the Roman numerals. Let's write this in Ableton Live. So you can actually hear these notes. So there's two patterns you need to remember tone, tone semitone, tone, tone tone semitone. And the other one is major minor, minor, major, major, minor diminished major and the other one is four and five means minor. Five and four means major and also four and four means diminished. So that means five and four. So five semitones from the root to the third and then four semitones from the third to the fifth is major five and four major four and five minor. I'll explain this again in Ableton live now, I'm just, if I'm going a bit too fast. So it is a lot of information to take in here. But yeah, try and memorize this as fast as you can major, minor, minor, major, major, minor diminish major and tone tone semitone, tone, tone tone semitone because it's really important for writing music. OK. So if you remember it was major, minor, minor, major, major, minor diminished major, you won't, probably won't be able to do it as fast as me. But hopefully you should be able to learn this. So you know which chords you can play in the key. So we're in C major key now. And the second one I remember was minor. So let's draw in the next one. Minor D minor. We can be lazy and put all the notes on the side by doing tone tone semitone, tone tone tone semitone or we can use the pattern four and five. So four semitones and then five semitones for minor. Let's do both now. So you can remember both of them. So the easy way D and then miss one, that's the third. So 123 is F 45 is a really cheeky easy way of doing it or this is a minor. If we go back to here, the second is minor can actually count 41234, which is F 12345, which is a now let's do the third one, 123, which is minor. Let's have a look at the notes on the side. 123, which is E So we have E minus is 4151234, 12345. Remember to count the first note or we can just do this 123. So it's eg 345 B next is an F going back to this 12341234. So we can count up here or up here. So the 4th 11234, we're going along here, which is why the Roman numerals are quite handy because it basically tells us the, the names of the, the numbers 1234, which is capitals or capital M or going back to these patterns, these symbols 1234, it means major. So let's type in F major. The pattern for major if you remember is five semitones and four semitones. So route to third five semitones, third to fifth, four semitones or we can just be really cheeky, just use them along here. So three and then five which is here. Let's add in some more tone tone, semi tone tone tone tone semi toone alongside. So tone tone, semitone, tone tone tone semi tone. OK. So let's draw in G actually let's do F first. So F is five and four. So F, so that's five 1234 and C and now let's do G which is 12345, the fifth or 12345, the 5th and 12345, which is major. OK. So the fifth chord of the scale or the, which is going along is a G major. So the fifth note is a G and we know it's a G major. So one, let's do the lazy way. 123, the G and the B then we have 345 and ad 45 and four semitones. So 123451234. OK. Now let's go up to the next one which is an A we can see on the side and the A is the six which is minor. OK? So 1234, or the lazy way. 1123, which is AC 45 and an E, the next one is the seventh which is a diminished, so diminished is four and four. So I've said it many times but remember major five, then four minor four and five diminished 44. So you need to remember those patterns and also this pattern. Major, minor, minor, major, major, minor diminished major. So I'll say it slower. Major minor, minor, major, major, minor diminished major. And the other pattern is tone tone semitone, tone tone tone semitone, tone tone semitone, tone tone tone semitone. This goes up all the way, all the way up the scale through all the of these patterns. So here are the three ways of looking at major minor, minor, major, major, minor diminish major. I like the top way, but I know a lot of people do like this Roman numeral way just because you can see instantly which number it is. So the seventh one has this little circle which means diminished. So it's four semitones from root to third and another four semitones from third to fifth. So this is a bit of a weird one that diminished. You wouldn't really stay on this chord for a long time. It's more for passing chords or if you want to create a kind of moody angry, like disturbing sound, you might use a diminished chord, but generally for pop and dance music, you will be avoiding a diminished chord most of the time. So beat the 7th 12345. So O starting on the C 1234567. So 12341234, we can just count up on the side. So the 1st, 2nd, 3rd for fifth So it's a B ad and a F. Let's hear this back. OK. And then back to C it was a, say A and AJ, we can use this pattern any of the scale, any of the keys really. So we can jump this up, say we want to use D major. That sounds called a cluster where it's all the notes at the same time, it doesn't sound very nice, but let's hear D major so that they are all the notes of the major scale, which is the same as the side. You've probably heard this little pattern as well. Do re Mi fa so la ti do so if you sing that, it naturally forms a major scale. So do re Mi fa So la ti do my singing's quite terrible. Hit my head. I can, I can do it. Let's go back to C major. So it's dough, right? And put this up an octave. OK. So it's do re Mi fa so DT so you really need to lock in that pattern of knowing what a major scale actually sounds like. So for example, one of the notes are slightly off, you should be able to hear that Dee was shopping. We will look at more advanced scales like modes, minor scales, but for now, we're just going to be looking at this major scale. So from this little pattern, major, minor, minor, major, major, minor, diminished major, we know all the chords that fit in our major scale or fit in our key. So this is basically playing in key or playing the chords in key. So also, yeah, going back, remember this pattern as well. Major is five then four. So from C we got four for minor and have five for major. So one, 2345 is it E and then 41234. So we know C major. So note ce and GC minor 1234 is ce flat 12345 and G and C diminished 1234. Ce flat 1234 and G flat. So this is how we know the difference between a major minor and diminish we can work them out. They do have different sounds. Generally major is happy. Minor is sad and diminished. Sounds a bit odd. There's a complete generalization but it does normally work. Let's have a look at an example. Now let's have a look at a song called Say It by Flume Feeling the Sun done. Shadows walking Rocky. And you are my kind classic mind and you look so loving the cold, smoking rosy in the and get it through your heartbreak. Some kind of freeze. Same for me. Don't know. Mm Make me want to change. They make me one I can buy, make me Make me warm. What? So from hearing that song, you should be able to hear, it's a nice sounding song. There's nothing really, that's too weird or too unusual. It all fits is all in key. And from having a look at the chords, it uses a G ad an E minor and ac it's just that repeated a lot of the time, the first chord will be the chord of the key. So that's a G. So let's just work out now if this is in key, but we can hear straight away is in key, but we're going to go through and work out if it's in key. So remember GDE minor and C.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials