Chord PDF and MuseScore at my Patreon:
Analyzing great progressions is not just an academic exercise- it’s a way to introduce new movements and musical effects to your composition lexicon. In this video, we’re taking a look at Bruno Mars’ “When I Was Your Man”, which is in the key of C Major and uses all of the garden variety diatonic chords in the key (save B diminished). In addition, it uses several borrowed chords and/or secondary dominants, and is structured in a way to really get as much juice out of the C Major/A Minor tonality as possible.

A few things to note- Pop music is not classical music. And pop can not always be described in traditional terms like Roman Numeral analysis easily. However I think it’s worth a try, and I’ve made some less-than-popular notations that are worth explaining. I name a Csus2/B and notate it as Isus2/7, which is to imply it’s the Tonic Chord (I) and it’s sus2, but it’s over the 7th tone of the key (B).

During that part of the video I keep calling it a C but it’s really a Csus2. You can also think of it as a Gadd11/B, then it would be a V chord. One other option there for that one chord would be an Emb6, it should provide a similar “slide” from the Am to the C.

Related Videos!
Chords of Major:
Borrowed Chords:
Secondary Dominants:
Minor Plagal:

A big thank you my Patreon subscribers, and especially to these fine folks:
Linas Orentas
Marek Pawlowski
John Arnold
Christopher Swanson
Marc Bulandr
Bradley Bower
Alvaro Begue-Aguado
Don Watters
Don Dachenhousen III
Patrick Ryan

Free online guitar lessons for beginners, intermediate, and advanced players. Located in Crystal Lake, Jake Lizzio provides free jam tracks and video lessons for guitar players, as well as music theory videos and other music education content.

Jake Lizzio

After performing in highschool bands and talent shows, I began teaching during my Senior Year in highschool at Crystal Lake South in 2004.

I went on to teach at Piano Trends Music Company in Crystal Lake, and there I began expanding my skills outside of just the guitar and began performing for weddings and private events. After leaving to teach privately, I began recording my students and myself.

This hobby eventually turned into a profession after I acquired the experience and equipment needed to produce quality audio and music. My goal now is to provide the highest quality online music lessons available and within reach to all who are interested.

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Music Theory and Songwriting Course FAQs

Probably! Only about 15% of this course is dedicated to the guitar, while the remaining concepts are taught in a way that can easily be applied to any other instrument. However, since all the theory taught is viewed through the lens of the guitar, it is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED that you own a guitar before pursuing this course to finish.
This is not a course on guitar playing or technique, but on theory and songwriting. The only skills you are expected to know is how to read guitar tablature, and the absolute basics of guitar playing (how to fret a note, open chords, etc)
I can confidently say that this method of learning will be more effective and valuable for many types of students. Since there is no wasted time or filler, it is more time-efficient than real life lessons where the teacher or student can get distracted. The printable materials are of a higher quality than most private lessons. And the ability to replay a lesson over and over is invaluable for students struggling to understand difficult topics.
Not quite- my YouTube channel explores more advanced topics without explaining the prerequisites. 95% of the content in this course is totally unique and unexplored on my channel, and is taught in a linear fashion as to make sure you’re totally competent by the end. There are only two lessons that include cross over with my YouTube channel. However, after some lessons, you are directed to specific YouTube videos I’ve produced to help expand on your understanding of the previous topics and to help weave my channel in with the course.
Nope! Once purchased you’ll have access for life, including any additional lessons or worksheets that get added in over time.
Currently, no. But I am working on getting a physical version of the course made instead of digital-only. Stay tuned!
If you are not satisfied with the course content or accessibility, you may request a refund within 30 days of purchase.
The sale price of $200 will only be available during special holiday promotions. Sign up to my email list to know when the next sale begins.
Reach out to me directly on my email and let me know your situation, I might be able to help =)