#1
Hello, well, I need to do a fair bit of writing of songs. One of my friends asked me to record a CD of me playing guitar for her. I decided to write all the songs on this CD, which has so far been going well.

I have written seven songs in the past three days, and I already had two. All sound unique and the chords are rarely repeated. As all tracks will be insturmental, but simple with chords and picking patterns, so I am just wondering, what are some uncommon chords that could sound good? Also, all songs will be written on acoustic, just so you know.

Thanks for any help, and any other tips would be appreciated.
Quote by Minkaro
Schizophrenia rap?

*beatboxes*

I have schizophrenia, I talk to myself,
People startin' to doubt my mental health,
Maybe someday I'll get the help I need,
But till then don't be blamin' mah weed.

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#2
I know Radiohead uses some unusual chords sometimes. Check out jigsaw pieces, for example, it has some some drop D - chords in it which I think to be really cool.
#3
Sus, Dim, 7ths... why don't you try an open tuning instead?
Originally Posted by evening_crow
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#4
Quote by evening_crow
Sus, Dim, 7ths... why don't you try an open tuning instead?


I've got 4 days of writing left, and 2 to record, so didn't want to try open tunings, I have 6 weeks of holidays or so, in which I plan to try out some more stuff, but thanks for the other suggestions.

I've used some common Sus chords, but any suggestions of certain chords, which are rarely used. Thanks for the help so far though.
Quote by Minkaro
Schizophrenia rap?

*beatboxes*

I have schizophrenia, I talk to myself,
People startin' to doubt my mental health,
Maybe someday I'll get the help I need,
But till then don't be blamin' mah weed.

*scratches*
#6
Quote by FatherBeard
Minor 9th?


Might try some of those.

Also, I have difficulty at times knowing what chords fit into what key, I've looked it up and kinda get it, but anyone wanting to give a simplified explanation that would be appreciated as well.
Quote by Minkaro
Schizophrenia rap?

*beatboxes*

I have schizophrenia, I talk to myself,
People startin' to doubt my mental health,
Maybe someday I'll get the help I need,
But till then don't be blamin' mah weed.

*scratches*
#7
The sound of a chord is determined entirely by context. Knowing exotic chords won't help you unless you know how to put them to use.
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#8
I enjoy dim7 chords
They have a lot of tension
Sixth chords are pretty unusual too I suppose
Yes.
#9
Minor chord with a Major 7th. Welcome to awesomeness.
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#10
Try a sus4b9, it sounds exotic when arpeggiated, and you can use a phrygian mode on top of that. Also, play a Bmaj7 chord with a Bb as a melody note on the higher register (taken from Naima), sounds 'effing awesome.
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#11
Archeo is right, but since you're strapped for time.

Depends on what you want to sound like.. 13th chords have a heavenly sound to em imo. Minor add 9 chords sound dissonant and kinda romantic if used well. Thats just the way I think of em.
#12
You want different chords to make the songs sound different? A million rock songs use powerchords yet they don't sound the same.


Don't force things together to make songs, play what you think sounds right for a song. It's like this thing I heard about Michelangelo saying something about a slab of marble already having the sculpture inside of it and all he did was take off the outer layers. The song is there for you after you decide you're going to write it, all you have to do is pull the chords out from your head.

It doesn't matter if you repeat chords. If you write a different song, it's a different song.


I'll throw a link out there anyways.
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#13
Quote by Archeo Avis
The sound of a chord is determined entirely by context. Knowing exotic chords won't help you unless you know how to put them to use.
Sort of this. Most writters don't put freakish chords in for the sake of it.
Theres usually a reason for it, like a melody might sound best if theres a non-chord on a stressed beat a composer might add that non-chord tone to the chord.

That being said, it's common in jazz to substitute old major/minor chords with ninth chords (Xm9/XM9) or maybe just some simple seventh chords (m7/M7). You could also substitute some dominant chords (usually non-functioning dominant chords) with altered chords (X7b9, X#9, Xb9, X#11, Xb5).

You could also try using some tritone substitutions or changing key heaps or have some chromatic movements in your chords. This is done heaps by arrangers in jazz songs.
#14
I think that the view on chords is wrong. It's about the separate tensions and intervals that interact as well as how they interact with the next chord. (Although I don't understand counterpoint, I understand why it's used, and I like the approach of seeing everything separate).

Learn to understand how things resolve. Voicings are very important too.

If u play a CM7 to a Dm7 an octave higher, it will resolve totally different, cause the highest tension in CM7 will respond to the lowest tension in the Dm7 chord.

That's why alot of the "same" chord progressions sound totally different when voiced differently. It goes far to deep to say what chords are nice. It totally depends on the leading voice, the bass movement, and the overall progression.

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#15
there are 12 voicings for all the triads and 16 voicings for all triad plus 7th chords on each set of strings ... when you use wider spaced interval chords the amount of chords increases of course...many of these voicing can be played as if they are "open" chords and produce many flavors....sometime a chord can have several "sound qualities"...it may sound major or minor with the same voicing (Cma7 / Ami9)

explore some of the inversions of basic triads and some voice leading....moving just one voice in a given chord can change the flavor greatly...

play well

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#16
Quote by Frewak
Hello, well, I need to do a fair bit of writing of songs. One of my friends asked me to record a CD of me playing guitar for her. I decided to write all the songs on this CD, which has so far been going well.

I have written seven songs in the past three days, and I already had two. All sound unique and the chords are rarely repeated. As all tracks will be insturmental, but simple with chords and picking patterns, so I am just wondering, what are some uncommon chords that could sound good? Also, all songs will be written on acoustic, just so you know.

Thanks for any help, and any other tips would be appreciated.

you dont really need weird chords, you just need some cool voicings.
one of my favorites is a 7th chord 2nd inversion voicing.

e--7-- pointer
B--10- pinky
G--8-- middle
D--x--
A--9-- ring
E--(7)- optional note with the thumb


EDIT: you probably knew this, but (i forgot to mention) the chord i tabbed out is a B7
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Last edited by musicTHEORYnerd at Dec 7, 2008,