Select Chords for a Song
Starting Point #7 in the Series
To take a simple song in a major key and give it a harmonic structure with I, IV and V chords
What You Need to Know Already:
I, IV & V Chords
Things to Help You With This Skill:
Master Theory lessons 83 & 84, 85 & 86, 87 & 88
Your Instrument (you can learn I/IV/V arpeggios in the key of C from the High School Scale Skills instruction sheet) and a tape recorder
Or another instrument that you can play chords on:
Electronic Keyboard (with one-finger chords)
Computer program: Noteworthy Composer (you can download the examples and copy in the chords you need)
For those who play band/orchestra instruments, chording songs is a big challenge because our instruments don't do this so easily. Where most of the instruments listed above provide chords with a single fingering, we have to break chords up into arpeggios and play them one note at a time. You can learn your I/IV/V arpeggios in the key of C in an easy pattern on the High School Scale Skill Instruction Sheet.
I will provide examples online in Noteworthy Composer that you can work with. You can play them in Noteworthy Player and chord along on an instrument, or you can download and register Noteworthy Composer and work directly in the file. It costs $39 to register Noteworthy Composer.
Chording songs is something that remains challenging throughout your life. There are infinite possibilities, and there are seriously complex songs. The best way to start is with folk songs, country songs and "Three-Chord Rock and Roll." This limits our options to the most common types of chords and helps us get used to the task at hand.
Click Here to Chord a Song Using Your Own Instrument and a Tape Recorder
Examples (using a chord instrument or a computer program):
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