MENTOR-GUIDED LEARNING

Unlocking the Emotional Power of Chords

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

We're not your average online course.
Find out about our mentorship approach.

Starts July 2

Six Week Mentor-Guided Course

Money‑Back Guarantee

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, and get personalized weekly feedback on your work from an expert Mentor. 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 ethanhein.com.

More About Ethan
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theory for producers
harmony
music theory
production

7 Days Left to Join the Next Session

Payment plans available. to find out more.

  • Unlimited access to interactive and video content
  • Weekly feedback and support from an expert Soundfly Mentor
  • Membership in our growing online Slack community of students and mentors

Price $649

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. !

GET PERSONAL SUPPORT & FEEDBACK FROM A SOUNDFLY MENTOR

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

Martin Fowler

Producer, Composer, Mentor
  • Produced & composed works for TV, film, & podcasts
  • International touring & recording artist with over 15 years experience
  • Studied bass & music technology at Berklee College of Music

Andre Madatian

Film Scorer, Producer, Mentor
  • 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, Mentor
  • 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

WHAT STUDENTS SAY

Course Outline

  1. Start
    Section 1

    Introduction

  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

MORE INFORMATION

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. 

Is there a money-back guarantee? 

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! 

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.  

What do I get as a Mainstage student? 

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.

What does it mean that the course starts on a specific date?

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. 

Can I take this course without a Soundfly Mentor?

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 $129.80. Please email [email protected] for a code to purchase the course content at the discounted rate.

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.