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The Scariest + Creepiest Chords AND How to Use Them

To honor the elder gods and undead this Hallowed season, I’m posting the PDF for this video to EVERYONE instead of just my incredible Patreon subscribers: https://bit.ly/32nJlvq 

Journal entry October 18.

It has been 11 days since I began my journey to discover the creepiest Chord my quest. Thus far has taken me to places I wouldn't wish on my worst enemies.

And now that I sense my destination approaching I'm beginning to question the wisdom of this journey starting to believe that some secrets are best left undiscovered.

Mostly be the end of me and the rest of us as well.

Not all chords are created equal. Lee some are just more inherently creepy than other ones and composers can really use these chords to their advantage if they're looking to Spook startled or Scare their listeners. So in this video, I want to give you six chords that are really unnerving and are very easy to use if you're trying to just creep people out. I'm going to keep this pretty quick. I'm going to show you the core themselves how they're built and show you a few examples of how you might be able to use it. But let's just get started with a really simple one, which is a minor Flat 6 chord. I'll build it off of the note E. So an E minor chord is what we start off with and that's just a Minor triad.

And if I add in the flatted sixth note, which is the note C.

Then I have an E minor Flat 6 chord, which is pretty uncomfortable.

If I go back to it here peddling between an E minor and an E minor Flat 6 you can do here.

That's a really unsettling kind of sound and this is the very first few chords you here in Laura Palmer's theme By Angelo badalamenti who did Twin Peaks soundtrack starts off with just an E minor Flat 6 to an E minor to an E minor 7 to an E minor.

Back to E minor 6 back to E minor and then just a low E like that really unsettling score and I think that theme song specifically I mean just starting you off with a minor Flat 6 is a really great way to creep people out and it just gives me that haunted forest effect all the way throughout that song.

Next we have minor add nine chords and I just discussed add nine chords in my last video. So if you'd like more information on these you can just check that out. But really all we do is we take an E minor chord and we had the 9th note or the second note, which would be the note F sharp. So if I can find a way to play an F sharp at the same time as my E minor chord, then I get this which is E minor add 9 and hopefully you here that's once again got a lot of mystery wrapped up into it. I can add that down an octave lower like this and now Say it's still kind of mysterious. But I feel a little bit more Western right now that you're kind of down in that lower register.

If I could add in that F sharp down to the low register, I'd get some really cool dissonances, but I can't do it on my guitar. Just check out what it would sound like on a synthesizer instead playing an E and F sharp and a G right next to each other and then having the fifth be on top.

So I call that a minor add to and a lot of times. I like to voice my minor chords as add to because of that dissonance between the second and the minor third that minor step right there creates a lot of tension and I personally love it. I think it works really well off of the one chord or off of the four chord in any natural minor you can play in add nine chord or dad to off of the one or off the for and you're going to really darken up the mood get a lot scarier than just a regular minor chords.

Next we've got minor major 7th chords, I did an entire video just on this one chord. So definitely check that out if you like the sound of this but really all you got to do is take a minor chord like E minor and then find the 7th note. So the 7th note of the E scale is D sharp, and I'm just going to tack on a deep D sharp.

That which is the detective chord by chord. It's got a lot of mystery wrapped up into it. I don't think it's so spooky and set in like a scary. I think it's just more suspenseful.

So it's a nice counterpart to the words and it's very very easy to apply just take A Minor triad add on that seventh note and there you go. Next is the augmented major 7th chord and to build an augmented major 7th off of e all I do is start on the note E. And then I build a major 3rd, which is G sharp another major. Third would take me to the note C and then I'm going to go. To the note D sharp, which gives me an augmented major 7 and if I add in another ee then I get this lovely our passion.

Hopefully you can hear this is quite unsettling undetermined.

It's awkward really on it's like the state of suspended disbelief or suspended animation.

It's kind of To get a grasp on it but it just feels like Endless Possibilities.

But none of those possibilities are really that good A lot of times augmented Triads feel awkward to me. So I kind of associate awkward augmented.

They just kind of have this floating question mark kind of feel and just hacking on that Major Seventh gives it a little bit more color. Now, the next chord is actually a chord change, but it could be any cord. So you can make any chord really creepy just by proceeding it with a minor chord a tritone away. That might sound confusing. But this is really easy. Let's start on an E chord. I'll pick an e-minor. Okay, if I'm on E minor, let's find the tritone off of e and you can find a tritone just by moving over six half steps or six Frets. So if I travel over six threats from E, it takes me to be flat. That's the devil's note the tritone if I play a B-flat minor chord now, so here was E minor and let's listen to B flat minor that is about as evil as a single chord change can get going from a minor chord jumping up at Don't hoard down a tritone to get to another minor chord and if you tried singing Melodies on top of this really cool little haunted floating like Solace, imagine this with like a theremin on top of it.

To me that is a classic Halloween sound and really all you need is a root and a tritone Building A Minor triad off of each one of those the last chord I want to talk about is the use of cluster chords and a cluster cord is pretty much any chord that you can't call by a name because it's got too many notes in it. So imagine you had a I'd like that had an e in it and it had an F in it and it had a d sharpen it so these are three chromatic notes right there a little chromatic cluster and all on their own really harsh really unsettling. This is like psycho killer stuff extremely suspenseful.

And once you have a chromatic cluster like that, you can kind of throw in any note with it and it's going to work. So what if I just throw a d underneath that okay. Yeah, that's pretty ugly and maybe just throw in, you know, I'll put Put a how about Abby.

So this is the kind of stuff that nightmares this is terrorizing music and of course think outside of your instrument if you start layering this on the piano or especially strings, I really like using these kind of cluster chords with strings and a nice little Crescendo great way to creep people out.

Now I just want to touch on a few topics here. Why are these chords so creepy? I can't really explain that that seems more of a topic for Adam Neely. He does a lot of videos on the psychology of music as well. I can say that culturally we've been conditioned to hear and feel these chords is creepy because they've been used so often in creepy scenarios, especially the minor Major Seventh chord right there. I mean almost every Spy movie has one of these chords in it. So when we hear that cord were thinking back to spy movies that we've seen so that is one element of making a creepy now if you were planning on Some scary music using some of these chords. I want to give you a little bit of advice the cords themselves are pretty unsettling but really what's going to make it really spooky is what you do with those chords arranging things in a lower register has a tendency to sound a little fog year and a little bit more ominous. You know, if you play all these chords on a ukulele or like a mandolin they're going to lose a little bit of that scary bite because you're in this very very high bright. Happy register. You also want to be thinking about what instruments are you going to be playing these kind of chords on me personally, I think certain instruments are just way scarier than others. I think the hurdy-gurdy is terrifying.

I think that a theremin sounds really really creepy.

And I think a nylon string is scarier than a steel string guitar. I feel there's a lot of these bright resonances on a steel string guitar that kind of go away when you're on this muddled nylon string guitar. So keep in mind that the quality of your instrument the quality of the note you're playing is going to really have an impact on if something is scary or not. So I hope you enjoyed this video and I hope you learned something. If you did enjoy this video, please thank my patreon supporters for making it possible. If you'd like to join them you can there's links Below in the description, but if you can't do that a like comment subscribe to is good enough for me. Thanks for watching. And I'll see you next time.

 





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