#1
I dont play chords as often as I should.

The chords I know are: major, minor, dminished, augmented, maj7, min7, dom7, and minor 11th

I know i can build other chords through theory and whatnot.

but how do i go about using these chords more often in composition? and what other chords should i know?
#2
You know far more chords then i do, i know major, minor, 7 chords, minor 7th.

The way i have done it so far involves getting a sound out my head and putting it onto guitar, not using all the chords for the sake of using all the chords.

That said i often play with 7ths and dominants just for the "exotic" sound, which leads you somewhere nice and unusual.

Id suggest experimentation, whether you compose on a riff or on a chord structure it doesnt matter, experiment, remember each type of chord whether minor major is giving a sound a particular flavour, minor sad, 7th wants to resolve to the tonic. Thats why theyre grouped in the same way, its just a matter of key in regards to what note you want to use.

The more you grasp what each type of chord (7th 9th, dmin, major) is trying to express the easier you will find it to effortlessly flow it into composition.
#3
When you say you "know" all those chords, does that mean you're able to play them all in multiple positions without a moment's hesitation? If not, practice more.

With enough practice and study you'll eventually start to understand how these chords go together and how all the intervals and extensions work together. Then you'll know how to compose with them.
#4
You should just **** about. It's the only way. Try and come up with a progression of single notes (three or four of them), then start working in harmonies. Then start working in more harmonies. Then look and see how you can play all those harmonies at the same time, when and if possible. This is basically how I construct chords to go along with a riff or song, even without any knowledge of theory (I wouldn't be able to distinguish a minor from a major chord through their notes or construction alone, I'd need to hear it or see it being fretted on a guitar), which in turn should be a LOT easier if you DO know theory (since the moment you've figured out one or two chords to go along with your progression, you'll probably instantly know what other chords or notes within the scale you're using that you can 'progress' to!)

It'd probably make sense if you decide on a scale that you can put the notes you chose into (and consequently from which you can derive the notes you 'can' play, and which you can't). This basically always guarantees success for me but this doesn't always work, as it's pretty limiting when you want to change over from minor to major (through either scales or chords). But to be honest I just don't know enough theory to truly comment on this. I've written 'chromatic' progressions which sound pretty and melodic using A# - B - C - C# at some point - something I can't make sense of when I apply what I believe to be 'scales' to the progression).

Other than that it's really all up to your ear man. If you have a natural ear for harmonies and 'seeing' when certain notes do and do not work (regardless of your knowledge of theory), then do just as I've said in the very first sentence of this post. Just **** about, something cool is bound to reveal it self at one point or another
Last edited by Eryth at Dec 24, 2014,
#5
Get used to how the different chords sound like. Also, figure out how other artists use those chords.

I would also learn about chord functions. Those are really important when it comes to understanding harmony.

You already know the basic triads and 7th chords. You didn't list the m7b5 and dim7 chords so learn those. You'll get pretty far with those chords. Just learn how to use them. You do nothing with chord voicings that you can't use. So start playing music. As I said, listen to how other artists use those chords.
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

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#6
Quote by fupashredder
I dont play chords as often as I should.

The chords I know are: major, minor, dminished, augmented, maj7, min7, dom7, and minor 11th

I know i can build other chords through theory and whatnot.

but how do i go about using these chords more often in composition? and what other chords should i know?


Some chords can be used standalone to establish a tonal centre (examples include maj and min triads, maj7, m7). Some can't, but rather back up the tonal centre, such as dim, aug, half-dim, 7b9, 7#5 ...

Dom 7 can be stand alone (e.g. a groove on E7), or used to back up the tonal centre (e.g. E7 A ...)

So, learn how these other chords can be used to support the tonal centre.

For those that can stand alone, experiment using them to establish different tonal centres.
E.g. A7 ... G7 .... A7 ... G7 ... moves between A as tonal centre and G as tonal centre, and use A Mixolydian and G Mixolydian.

cheers, Jerry
Last edited by jerrykramskoy at Dec 24, 2014,