Tag archives for ROOT

Understanding Chord Symbols

April 12th, 2012 by

Understanding chord symbols is important in songwriting. Here we will cover the topic of  chord symbols and chord construction. While there are many books out there on the market, there is very little explanation of how chords symbols are interpreted. I’d like to share some of my insight with you. In most song sheets chords are given for guitar or keyboard players. Functional names are not used for this purpose. Instead, the root and quality of the chord are given in what may be termed lead-sheet notation (for example, Cmaj and F#min). (more…)

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  • Songwriter Tip:

    Another trick that you can employ to make your melodies more memorable is to use an unexpected note. This doesn’t mean a note that is out of the key that you are writing in or a note that is otherwise dissonant; what it means is an extreme interval that somehow ties into the lyric. Listen to the note that Garth Brooks hits when he sings the word ‘Low’ in the song ‘I’ve got some friends in low places’ for an example of what I’m talking about.