Move beyond cliché chord patterns by understanding how to apply more complex harmonic concepts to your music.
The best part about learning the rules of harmony is learning how to break them. Moving outside of predictable chord patterns is what gives D'Angelo his swagger, Grizzly Bear their sophistication, or Erykah Badu her sense of ethereal other-worldliness.
In this six week course, we're going to show you how to transcend tired harmonic clichés to build more nuanced, interesting chord progressions. We'll explore modal interchange, secondary dominants, dissonance, chromaticism, and other ways to bring a "jazzy" sense of harmony to modern music. You'll be challenged to write your own mood-setting music by creating tracks for topliners, TV ads, film trailers, and more, and get personalized weekly feedback on your work from an expert. By the end you'll feel comfortable crafting more sophisticated chord progressions to create more nuanced emotions in your music.
If you're looking for an intro to harmony in modern music, check out Unlocking the Emotional Power of Chords.
Ethan Hein is an adjunct professor of music technology at NYU and Montclair State University, and a founding member of the NYU Music Experience Design Lab, under the leadership of Alex Ruthmann. You can follow all his explorations of music theory, music education, and pop music at ethanhein.com.
By the end of this course, you’ll be able to extend your chordal knowledge and create more complex emotions and harmonies.
Our expert mentors do whatever it takes to ensure that you achieve your musical goals for the course and leap forward in your learning.
You'll learn how using more complex chords and chord progressions can create more interesting and nuanced moods in your music. You'll also learn a ton of music theory concepts, including sevenths, extended chords, modal interchange, chromaticism, effectively using dissonance, and much more. You'll use all this right away in a series of real-life writing and production challenges.
YES. If you sign up and the course isn't what you expected, we will give you a full refund as long as you tell us before the start of the second week. The reason that the second week of the course is a cut-off for our guarantee is simply because if we go past that deadline, our mentors will have likely put in a lot of time, energy, and effort already.
We're also happy to move you to a subsequent session, if you end up not having as much time as you expected. Once again, let us know as soon as possible!
This course is really the second of our series on harnessing the emotional power of chords. As such, while not required, it will definitely help to have a working knowledge of scales, notes, and basic diatonic harmony, or to have taken the preliminary Chords course. Additionally, you'll want a working knowledge of a digital audio workstation (DAW), such as Ableton Live, Logic, FL Studio, or something else.
The Mainstage experience is built on our science-backed active learning model, which helps you learn more efficiently and effectively than typical online courses. The key difference is our mentorship approach — one-on-one coaching with a trained Soundfly Mentor who has extensive experience in the subject. When you sign up, we'll pair you with an expert who will tailor the course to your experience level, offer detailed weekly feedback on your work, answer any questions you have, help you blow past obstacles, and keep you on track to accomplish your musical goals.
You'll also get unlimited, lifetime access to all the course content — including in-depth lessons, activities with answer keys, quizzes, video tutorials, and downloadable resources — so you can review anytime and keep your skills sharp.
As an extra perk, you’ll get lifetime access to our tight-knit musician community group on Slack, where you’ll find peer-to-peer feedback and support, lots of inspiration, and fun, musical conversations with fellow Soundfly students, mentors, and staff.
As soon as you purchase a course, you can begin exploring the course material immediately. On the start date, the session begins, which means you'll begin the guided experience that includes weekly activities, feedback from Soundfly Mentors, and much more. This is intended to help you stay accountable and get the feedback you need to succeed.
We believe strongly that accountability, feedback, and support are critical to active learning — where you learn by putting your knowledge into practice and engaging thoughtfully with what you're learning. And we think that active learning is a more effective path to learning a new skill than passive learning — where you're simply watching videos and reading text.
However, if you don't need the mentorship component of our course, whether it's because you're working with a private instructor, or don't have the time, or maybe you are a private instructor and want to use the course content with a student, you can buy unlimited access to the course content for $99. Please email [email protected] for a code to purchase the course content at the discounted rate.
Yes! We aim to start a new session on the first Tuesday of every month. Check back shortly for firm dates, or sign up for a Soundfly account to receive email updates about course dates and new course launches.