How To Easily Recognize Chords- Alternate Chord Names 

To honor the elder gods and undead this Hallowed season, I’m posting the PDF for this video to EVERYONE.  What are the scariest chords? Creepiest chords? Well, it’s certainly subjective. But this is a quick list of spooky chords and some advice on how to use them. You’ll notice that the majority of these revolve around a minor triad, and that shouldn’t be a surprise. 


Please note, this transcription was computer generated and has not been checked for errors. However, I do hope you find it helpful. Be sure to check out The Ultimate Modal Poster!

Hey, welcome back to another video. This is Jake. And today. I'm just going to give you something totally different. I'm going to give you a list of alternative chord names when I play music when I hear music when I write music. I really like to label chords with specific words specific emotions even scenery. All right, because it helps me kind of recognize that cord when I hear it and it definitely helps me when I'm composing when I want to elicit a certain emotion. I know what chord I might want to use for that. So I really quick example of what I'm talking about. Let's take a look at a minor Major Seventh chord. That's a route. A flatted 3rd a fifth and a natural seven.

Now that cluster of notes there.

I just call it the detective Gordon. All right, what I visualized in my head is, you know, the Dick Tracy detective in the Smoky room, you know, the silhouette windows.

It's very obviously mysterious to me. Okay. And so when I hear something that is blatantly mysterious and when I hear something that all of a sudden conjures up thoughts of you know, the the back room detective, you know with his magnified with his Spyglass.

I know that I'm talking about. I'm no I'm hearing a minor major. Seventh chord. All right. I don't have to calculate it. I don't have to figure it out. Just like if I show you the symbol you don't have to figure out what it is. You can instantly, you know name it. You don't have to spell it out and try to you know, go through, you know, an index a you doesn't recognize it immediately. So that's what I try to train myself doing with chords.

This doesn't work all the time. Alright, this is something that does work, you know for me maybe half the time where I can just instantly identify a chord but if that fails then I can just calculate it. I can you know audibly count out the intervals of the cord and it'll give me an An idea of what chord I'm working with, but I prefer to just bypass all that. I prefer to just try to let my ear hear what's happening and then just know it. Okay, but that takes a lot of training. It's still something I'm working on. But what I want to give you here today is just a really quick list of chords and the alternative names that I have given them. I might also give you some alternative imagery that it might, you know conjure up in my head. Like for example major 7th, if I think about what a major 7th chord sounds like that to me is very Lounge singer.

So I get this image of you know, some Lounge singer next to the piano on, you know, some cheap cruise ship or something like that. It's very kind of schlocky to me very I don't know. Hey, it's like I don't know. It's got a weird feel to it. So, you know, that's one of those things I might you know demonstrate as well. But this is totally subjective. Okay, I want you to play around with these chords on your own and I want you to try and imagine. What does this remind me of does this make me think of a place a person a smell a word literally anything anything that you can hang on? Onto that Court anything you can tag that chord with is going to make it easier to identify later on when you hear it and it's really going to help come in helpful when you want to compose and you want to make a specific sound especially if you're into like film score or if you do sound design a lot of times you need to make something sound or feel a certain way and if you know immediately, hey, we need to make people feel relaxed here. I'll how about a minor a minor 7th chord, that would be a really good way to make them feel relaxed. I think that's a good a good compositional technique.

Okay. So I hope you enjoy this little list of Alternative chord names and I will see you again next time.


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