Unlocking the Emotional Power of Chords

Produce more compelling music by harnessing the underlying emotional power of chords and harmony.

Why do some songs tug on our heartstrings while others fall flat? Conveying moods and emotions is a key element of making great music, and doing it well requires a deep understanding of chords and harmony. It's what allows modern music producers and songwriters to convey a sense of danger, triumph, or melancholy. 

This six-week course will show you how to craft compelling chord progressions in your music. We'll analyze the chords used in music from across the contemporary landscape, and equip you to use them in your own productions and compositions. You'll be challenged to write your own mood-setting music by creating tracks for topliners, TV ads, film trailers, and more. By the end of this course, you'll be able to harness more interesting chord progressions to provoke powerful emotional reactions in your listeners.

If you're looking for our more advanced harmony course The Creative Power of Advanced Harmony, click here

Ethan Hein

Music Technologist & Theory Nerd

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

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theory for producers
music theory

Work with an Expert Mentor for Six Weeks

Sign up for this course with six weeks of personal mentorship from an expert, and get unlimited access to the content, forever.

Price $649

Payment plans available. to find out more.

Subscribe for Access to All Our Courses

Get access to all our premium courses without mentorship for a low monthly price.

Price $39/month

Communicate Powerful Emotions Through Your Music

By the end of this course, you’ll be able to harness more interesting chord progressions to create powerful emotional reactions in your listeners.

Build More Interesting Chord Progressions

We go through a variety of chord types and scales to add lots of new harmonic tools to your tool belt.

Learn to Communicate the Moods You Want

We examine how different harmonic tools can be used to craft different emotional palettes in your music.

Practice Turning Theory into Action

We give you realistic mock writing prompts, challenging you to put what you've learned into your music right away.

Study Common Chord Progressions in Use

We look at a whole bunch of popular songs from across genres and how they use chords to create moods.
Are you an educator? If so, you can access educator discounts. !


Our expert mentors do whatever it takes to ensure that you achieve your musical goals for the course and leap forward in your learning.

Sırma Munyar

Singer, Songwriter, Producer
  • Artist with over a million listens on Spotify
  • Recorded with Illenium, Keri Hilson, Akon, etc.
  • Singer for major TV ads

Andre Madatian

Film Scorer, Composer, Educator
  • Degree in Film Scoring from Berklee College of Music
  • Music has appeared Bravo, CBS, Oprah Winfrey Network, and more
  • Touring guitarist and performer

Joseph Capalbo

Producer, Songwriter, Educator
  • Electronic musician and producer
  • His original music has appeared on MTV, E!, NBC, and more
  • Has worked with dozens of students on theory, production, and songwriting


Course Outline

  1. Start
    Section 1


  2. Start
    Section 2

    Smells Like Power Chords

  3. Start
    Section 3

    Fundamental Triads

  4. Start
    Section 4

    Building Chords on Scales

  5. Start
    Section 5

    Other Triads

  6. Start
    Section 6

    Tension and Release

  7. Start
    Section 7

    Voice Leading

  8. Start
    Section 8

    The Flow of Functional Harmony

  9. Start
    Section 9

    Working With Minor Colors

  10. Start
    Section 10

    Wrapping Up


Who is this course for?

This course is for producers, composers, and songwriters with a basic understanding of music theory and chords, looking to expand their understanding of how to use chords and chord progressions in different contexts.

What will I learn in this course?

You'll learn how to create emotionally powerful chord progressions to convey different feelings in your music. You'll also learn a ton of music theory concepts, including intervals, major and minor chords, diatonic harmonies, and much more, and use them right away in a series of real-life challenges.

Are there any pre-reqs?

This course is a continuation of our free series, Theory for Producers, about scales and modes. As such, while not required, it will definitely help to have a working knowledge of scales and notes. Ideally, you'll also want a working knowledge of a digital audio workstation (DAW), such as Ableton Live, Logic, FL Studio, or something else.

How does a Soundfly course work?

We offer two ways to experience our courses: with mentorship or with a subscription. Enrolling with mentorship involves in-depth weekly personalized support and feedback from an expert for the six week duration of the course.

Enrolling with a subscription does not include mentorship but gives you access to all of the courses on to go through at your own pace for as long as you're subscribed (and tons of extra perks — see below).

What do I get if I enroll as a subscriber?

As a subscriber, you'll get unlimited access to all the course content on, including this course and all our other premium courses, to go through at your own pace. This includes all the videos, tutorials, demos, quizzes, activities, downloads, and other materials within our courses. You're also entitled to discounts of up to 33% on our mentorship programs, you will be invited to join our exclusive community Slack group, and you'll have access to exclusive discount perks courtesy of our partner brands. You can cancel anytime.

You can find out more about subscribing here.

What do I get if I enroll with mentorship?

Our mentorship program is our science-backed learning model designed to help you learn more efficiently and effectively. 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 can find out more about mentorship and our expert mentors here.

You'll also get unlimited, lifetime access to all the course content and 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.

How does the pricing work?

A subscription costs $39/month or only $19/month if you enroll annually.

Enrolling with mentorship costs $649 for six weeks of intensive support from an expert, plus lifetime access to the specific course you're purchasing. Payment plans are available — reach out to [email protected] to find out more.

Is there a money-back guarantee?

Yes, if you enroll with mentorship. If you enroll with mentorship 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, in order to honor the valuable time of our mentors.

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!

How long does this course last?

Our courses were designed to be taken in six weeks. If you enroll with a mentor, you will go through that six week curriculum. If you enroll with a subscription on the other hand, you can choose to use the six week structure, or you can ignore it and jump around as much as you want.

Will there be future sessions of the course?

Yes! Check back shortly for firm dates, or sign up for a Soundfly account to receive email updates about course dates and new course launches.