I Write The Music

Composition – Composing from a Chord Scheme (Lesson 4)

Posted in Uncategorized by Higher Density Blog on July 12, 2017


Music Matters 

Published on Jan 27, 2016

In this video we take a look at how we can take a simple chord scheme and compose a variety of melodies in different styles to give you an idea of some compositional techniques.

● Download more videos here: http://www.mmcourses.co.uk/composition

● About this series:
This package aims to help you acquire and develop your compositional technique, from starting with basic ideas and moving into more advanced writing. Area’s covered include melody writing, how to work with chords, setting words to music, dealing with texture, structure, how to write a song, and a host of other issues. This series, presented to you by ABRSM Examiner Gareth Green, will guide you through each area step by step in a clear and informative manor, lesson by lesson.

● If you are interested in downloading the rest of this series then please visit:

● For more videos, courses and information please visit our website:


Determining chord progressions in a song

Posted in Uncategorized by Higher Density Blog on April 22, 2017

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II-V-I, Exercises and Drills, Cycle of 5ths, Piano Tutorial

Posted in Uncategorized by Higher Density Blog on September 4, 2016

Harmonic Progression

Posted in Uncategorized by Higher Density Blog on August 16, 2016


This video corresponds with material from chapter 7 in your textbook, which has some very useful diagrams that summarize this information. Please check that out!

0:00 Introduction
1:18 Tonic triads
2:29 Dominant triads
3:52 Supertonic triads
4:50 Root movement by descending fifth
6:11 Submediant triads
7:19 Mediant triads
8:41 Leading tone triads
10:03 Subdominant triads
11:29 Three common exceptions

Gary Ewer – What Are Strong and Fragile Chord Progressions, and How Do I Use Them?

Posted in Uncategorized by Higher Density Blog on May 10, 2016

AP Music Theory: Harmonic Progression “Reverse Sequence”

Posted in Uncategorized by Higher Density Blog on December 22, 2015

1-6-2-5 Progression – How to Create and Play All style of Music

Posted in Harmony by Higher Density Blog on October 30, 2015
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Chord Progression – Try in all Major Keys

Posted in Chords, Progressions by Higher Density Blog on March 1, 2015

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Bill Hilton – Working with non-diatonic chords in progressions

Posted in Chord Progressions, Theory by Higher Density Blog on December 7, 2014

Bill Hilton


In this video I discuss the use of non-diatonic chords in different chord progressions. Non-diatonic chords are not as confusing as their name suggests, and are more common than you might think in chord progressions in various styles of music.
In any major key there are certain chords which are natural to that key. These ‘diatonic chords’ are based on the triads that have their root on each note of the seven-note major –or diatonic- scale. Chords that aren’t based on any of the notes in the scale are called non-diatonic chords.
In this video I use ‘Georgia On My Mind’ by Hoagy Carmichael to illustrate the use of non-diatonic chords in jazz and blues. This famous song uses two non-diatonic chords in its chord progression.
When it comes to comping or improvising over this chord progression, there’s no need to improvise any differently than you would with a completely diatonic progression. This is because the progression is quite jazzy, so improvising over it with the F blues scale or F pentatonic scale creates a distinctive harmonic sound and fits the style well, despite clashing with the left hand.
When improvising or comping in more contemporary music or pop music, we deal with these chords differently than we would with jazz or blues styles.
Many pop and rock songs feature non-diatonic chords, however they usually treat them as a sort of ‘mini key-change’. ‘Yesterday’ by The Beatles is a useful example that I use as a demonstration in this video.
Whether comping or improvising, the melody can’t be as independent from the progression as it can with jazz or blues – you can’t really mix non-diatonic chords with diatonic melodies. The best way to overcome this is by using scales from the key of the non-diatonic chord when playing the non-diatonic chord.
To be able to do this seamlessly while improvising, practice is essential. Try to find progressions that use non-diatonic chords- most jazz progression include one or two, as well as a lot of Beatles songs. If you like The Rocky Horror Show, virtually every song uses non-diatonic chords.
If harmony confuses you or you’d like to know more about it, check out my book ‘How to Really Play the Piano’, which has plenty of chord charts as well as a whole section on harmony and blues. I also cover a lot of information on chords, harmony and improvising — as well as loads of other interesting stuff — in my earlier videos.

AP Music Theory – Secondary Dominants

Posted in Progressions, Secondary by Higher Density Blog on August 26, 2014


This is a short introduction and review of the function of Secondary Dominants.
Produced for WHS AP Music Theory http://goo.gl/vr5mA

JazzEdge Channel – LH Voicings, Piano

Posted in Chords, LH Chords, Piano, Progressions, Voicings by Higher Density Blog on May 22, 2014

AP Music – Secondary Dominants – Leading Tone Chords

Posted in Chords, Function, Progressions, Secondary, Theory by Higher Density Blog on April 30, 2014
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