Song Science #2: The Complete Songwriting Chord Guide
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Song Science #2: The Complete Songwriting Chord Guide

Learn How to Use Advanced Chords and Understand Practical Music Theory! Great for Aspiring Songwriters
4.6 (215 ratings)
Instead of using a simple lifetime average, Udemy calculates a course's star rating by considering a number of different factors such as the number of ratings, the age of ratings, and the likelihood of fraudulent ratings.
1,638 students enrolled
Created by RW Studio
Last updated 9/2017
Current price: $10 Original price: $100 Discount: 90% off
5 hours left at this price!
30-Day Money-Back Guarantee
  • 2.5 hours on-demand video
  • 1 Article
  • 1 Supplemental Resource
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
What Will I Learn?
  • Break any songwriting muscle memory and write songs outside your comfort zone
  • Analyze advanced songs that use exotic chords
  • Build songs from scratch with advanced chord concepts
View Curriculum
  • Have an instrument to write songs on (like piano or guitar)

Songwriting is fun when you understand chords!

In this course we are going to go beyond the 6 chords and start understanding advanced songwriting technique.

When I say beyond the 6 chords, I don't mean 6 more chords.  We are going to be studying tons and tons of chords in this course.

This goes way beyond the 1st course in this series.

We will go over multiple chord concepts with real examples showing how they are implemented.  We will be breaking down songs and I'll be showing you how professional songwriters use advanced chord concepts.

You should take this course if you have an interest in how songs are created and if you're interested in songwriting.

I hope to see you on the inside!

Who is the target audience?
  • Songwriters
  • Anyone interested in how songs are created
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Curriculum For This Course
25 Lectures
1 Lecture 02:21
Getting Up to Speed! (Skip if You Understand 7 Chords and Circle of 5ths)
2 Lectures 10:42

Introduction to the 7 Chords.  Major 7, minor 7, half diminished 7 and diminished 7 

Preview 04:17

Introduction to the Circle of 5ths (Cycle of 5ths).  Explanation on it's importance to keys and chords.

Preview 06:25
The Chord Moves in "Mysterious" Ways
4 Lectures 25:22

Lecture on how to execute the "Circle Windup".  Understanding resolution and the strongest way chords like to move.

The "Circle Windup" with The Supremes

Learn what slash chords are and how they are used.  Understand the most common slash chords and how slash chord notation is written out.

Slash Chords - Michael Jackson Did It!

Pedal point is used commonly in Classical and Jazz music. In this lecture, learn how pedal point is used in popular music.

Pedal Point! How to Build Intensity from Van Halen to Eye of the Tiger

Learn how to change chord qualities to create line cliches and other melodic effects.

Use this Simple Chord Quality Morphing Trick to get The Bright Alt Rock Sound
Secondary Dominants
2 Lectures 15:00

Learn what secondary dominants are and how to write secondary dominant notation.  By the end of this lecture you will understand how to read the following:  V of ii, V of iii, V of IV, V of V, V of vi, V7 of ii, V7 of iii, V7 of IV, V7 of V, V7 of vi, V/ii, V/iii, V/IV, V/V, V/vi, V7/ii, V7/iii, V7/IV, V7/V, V7/vi.

What is a Secondary Dominant?

Secondary Dominant Quiz
6 questions

Learn how songwriters use secondary dominants in their songs.  Secondary dominant chord song examples include: Only One - Kanye West, Call Them Brothers - Regina Spektor, In My Life - The Beatles, I Get Around - The Beach Boys, Puff the Magic Dragon - Peter, Paul, and Mary. 

Secondary Dominants in Songs - Even Kanye West Did It?
Diminished Chords - Playing "the Cracks"
2 Lectures 18:30

Learn what the 3 types of diminished chords are and how they're constructed.

The 3 Types of Diminished Chords and the 5 Cracks They Fit In

Diminished Quiz
1 question

Learn how diminished chords are used in songwriting.  Song examples used: I Ain't Got You - Alicia Keys, Love On Top - Beyonce, Who Says - John Mayer.

Diminished Chords in Songs - From John Mayer to Alicia Keys!
Getting Modal - From Songs to Interchange
9 Lectures 01:06:10

Learn how the 7 modes ( Ionian, Dorian, Phrygian, Lydian, Mixolydian, Aeolian, Locrian ) are constructed and what the difference is between all seven.  Learn how modes range from dark to light.

The 7 Modes - from Brightest to Darkest

Modes Quiz
8 questions

Learn the 5 modes you can write complete songs in.  See examples of songs and songwriters who write in a mode.

These Are the 5 Modes You Can Write Complete Songs in

Learn how modal interchange (borrowed chord) works! Understand how to borrow chords from other modes effectively.  Modal Interchange Handout attached.

Modal Interchange

Learn modal interchange with the ii (2 minor) chord.

Neapolitan II and Lydian II

Learn modal interchange with the IV (4 Major) chord.

The minor IV

Learn modal interchange with the V (Major five) chord

The minor V - Coldplay made it interesting

Learn the first common way to modal interchange with the iii (3 minor), vi (6 minor) and viio (7 diminished chord).

The Art of "Backcycling" bIII, bVI, and bVII

Backcycle Quiz
1 question

Learn how to make powerful song turnarounds with parallel chords.  Learn how to build energy with each chord.

Power Home with Parallels! bIII, bVI, and bVII

Learn how the bVII chord works and how to use it as a cadence or pre-cadence chord. 

bVII Cadence and Pre-Cadence
The Very, Very Difficult Advanced Songwriting Quiz
3 Lectures 13:21

Quiz on song by Bob Dylan made more famous by Adele.  Test your chord theory knowledge.

What is Adele doing in this Bob Dylan Song?

Quiz on this Carole King anthem.  Test your songwriting theory knowledge.

What is Carole King Doing Here?

Quiz on popular Ariana Grande song.  Test your knowledge of chords.

What is Ariana Grande Doing Here?
1 Lecture 01:56
Thank you
1 Lecture 01:42
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About the Instructor
RW Studio
4.6 Average rating
1,848 Reviews
20,224 Students
11 Courses
20,000+ Students, 1,500+ Reviews, 11 Courses

Hi I'm Rob! A full-time musician and teacher in New York City and Los Angeles. I'm passionate about music and education.

I'm a former music instructor with a Fender Grant winning non-profit. I also teach privately. My students range from signed recording artists and songwriters to working professionals who just love music.

I'm a Premium Udemy Instructor and have been teaching since 2015. Many of my courses are best selling courses and have been featured on Udemy. I have 20,000+ students and 1,500+ reviews, across 11 courses. I work with other teachers to help them achieve the same success.