Songwriting

Make songs and not just tracks. Learn music theory, chords, melody writing, and a lot more in our massive collection of songwriting blog articles and guides.

Modes

We’ve touched on major and minor scales, but there’s another type of “scale.” It’s a little more abstract in nature, but incredibly useful, and you

The Circle of Fifths

The circle of fifths is your friend. Then again, you could ignore it and just write everything in the key of C, like some producers.

How Keys Work

In Western music, C major is the natural major scale. This means that the half-steps naturally occur between E and F, and B and C.

Chord Voicing Variations

So far the chords we’ve talked about were built with the root as the lowest note (1 3 5, for example). However, chords can be

Chords

By definition, a chord consists of at least three different notes. Notice the word “different;” an octave doesn’t count as a different note because it’s

Triads

A triad consists of three notes: a root, a third, and a fifth. Let’s look at a major triad first. It’s composed of a root,

Inverted Intervals

So far we’ve only talked above ascending intervals, or intervals whose “base” or “root” note is the lower one. But what if the root note

Compound Intervals

Intervals that span a distance greater than an octave are called “compound intervals.” You can find out their number by adding 7 to the interval

The Minor Scale Expanded

First let’s refresh the natural minor scale formula. Where “^” denotes a half-step, the formula is: 1 2^b3 4 5^b6 b7 1. However, there are

Interval Basics

The word “interval” refers to the distance between two notes. The basic intervals are: Unison, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, and octave. Each interval

The Minor Scale

There are two approaches to understanding the minor scale. Both are important. First, the minor scale is like the major scale: It’s made of five

The Major Scale

There are two main scales formulas: major and minor. Each is built on the concept of “steps,” which are either half or whole.  A half-step

Interval Tip

One of the best tricks I learned from a former teacher was a quick trick to figuring out thirds and fifths. Memorize this pattern: C

Why Music Theory Matters

Composing without music theory is like mixing a song without EQ. It’s possible, but I wouldn’t recommend it. Here’s why music theory matters. The main

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