How to Create Chord Progressions That Grab an Audience’s Attention

this is one GREAT article! I got a killer 8-chord progression from tweaking one of the chorus progressions….

The Essential Secrets of Songwriting Blog

The progressions that really connect with audiences are the ones that fluctuate between fragile and strong.

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Struggling to build an audience base? “The Essential Secrets of Songwriting” shows you every aspect of what makes a great song great. Read more..

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Keyboard, ear phonesA few days ago I wrote a post that dealt with differences between verse and chorus progressions. In this post, I want to give you some precise examples of how that all works. If you find that coming up with a set of chord progressions that works feels more like hit-or-miss than anything else, try thinking of your chords this way:

THE SONG:

Most songs focus on one chord as the tonic, or “home” chord, and overall, most of the progressions point to that tonic chord as being the most important one, a kind of musical anchor. With that in mind, however, different sections of the song will…

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Two Variations on Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star

This time we’ll have a go at some variations on Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star. I’ve been improvising over this one for decades, and it’s always fun. When you’re doing variations on a well-known folk melody like this, the process is a little “tighter” than improvisation: you are working with some of the main pitches that the original melody has, but you are connecting them with passing tones, sometimes moving them around a bit in the measure, and sometimes going up or down a 3rd (two frets on the dulcimer) for a bit of harmonic color.

Before we get to the two full variations on the pdf, I’d like to show you a little bit of the process I use — with just the first two measures in TAB on the melody string (tuning DAD):

original:

0—-0—-4—-4—-|5—-5—-4———|

one possible variation:

0—-2—-4—-4—-|5—-7—-4———|

or another:

0—-2-3-4—-7—-|5—-7—-4—-7—-|

So it’s not really that hard: you just keep some of the main notes in place where they should be and throw in a few different ones of your own choosing—connect a few notes of the original with eighth-note connectors. Try it!! The sky’s the limit, really…..see what you can come up with!

Here are my two 12-bar variations in music and TAB, with a blank second page so you can continue on your own. Try playing this as slow and dreamy as you can:

2twinklevariations

On the way to Cranberry!

Mary and I are about to sample the splendor of at least two of the Finger Lakes near Penn Yan in upstate New York. Tomorrow we will arrive in Latham, NY for the 39th Cranberry Dulcimer and Autoharp Gathering. I will be teaching three workshops and also doing a featured concert set on Saturday night. If you are in the area, please check it out: it is a great festival with a long and wonderful history, and this year there are so many great workshop leaders:

2015 Cranberry Dulcimer & Autoharp Gathering

TRADITIONAL STATE OF MIND

Great Stuff here on building dulcimers the old way!!

dulcimoreblog

Hide glue is great stuff. Originally I figure if Homer use aliphatic glue, it must be right, but after taking the plunge and spending about $35 to set it up a hide glue pot, I love it! You must work quickly. I found somewhere on the web a guy who uses a primer trick to get the most out of a less than optimal joint. The sides are very thin on the dulcimore and the glue didn’t seem to take. First I tried a glue bottle but it wasn’t the way to go. (mess) Then I read the primer method and used a smaller brush and WooHoo!
I got my staple marking tool made. After finishing the latest dulcimore I tried it out. Being able to adjust the note with one hand is the way to go. I have no idea how other guys do it, but I’m really happy…

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Sounds From The Circle VII !

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SFTC7-CoverI’m so thrilled to be a part of this incredible MP3 Compilation (for the second year in a row) with my piece for electric dulcimer “Louie – Very Free and Easy”!! This is a compilation of 49 artists from the New Age Music Circle (a ning community) put together by New Age music pioneer Suzanne Doucet, and Beth Hilton. There is an enormous amount of work in a project like this, and in this case, the end product is just spectacular: the music flows effortlessly, and you can just let it play for a soothing, relaxing, yet uplifting experience. Here is the official text:


About The New Age Music Circle & Sounds from the Circle VII

The New Age Music Circle – an online community of almost 1700 artists, industry professionals and fans –presents its seventh MP3 compilation in as many years with Sounds from the Circle VII. Produced by Suzanne Doucet, founder of the Circle, the compilations have become favorites among music fans as well as professional radio programmers and wellness practitioners who appreciate the ability to play almost four hours of music without stopping.

Just a sampling of the New Age music sub-genres included are Mystical, Chill, Ambient, Meditative, Vocals, Nature, Trance, World, Solo Piano, Space, Electronic and more! Sounds from the Circle VII is available in both physical format and duplicated in online playlists in Spotify and iTunes for all tracks available there by our launch date of 5/12/15. The Sounds of the Circle compilations are always eclectic, showcasing the wide range of inspiration, interpretation and musical vision within the New Age genre from countries across the globe including the USA, Canada, Australia, Argentina, Brazil, England, Scotland, India, Malaysia, Norway, Sweden, Germany, Singapore, Philippines, South Africa, Spain, Venezuela and more.

Sounds from the Circle VII will have increased promotional presence this year, including YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Spotify, iTunes and Instagram. Find out more about this music, or join the New Age Music Circle at http://newagemusik.ning.com

For more information, or for media review copies, event distribution, and promotional giveaways, contact The B Company, bethhilton@theBcompany.com, at 310-560-8390.


The Artists of SFTC VII

SFTC VII participating artists and groups include:

Ricky Kej & Wouter Kellerman – Fiona Joy – Minstrel Streams – Bryan Carrigan – Sean Christopher – Lia Scallon – Isadar – Spencer Brewer – Michael Dulin – Sherry Finzer – Jennifer DeFrayne – Pamela Jamian – Rupam Sarmah – Mythos – Lisa Downing – Peter Kater – Kristin Amarie & David Lanz – Denise Young – Anima – Merrill Collins – Bill Wren & Frank Ralls – Mark Pinkus – Tron Syversen – Louis Colaiannia – Michael Hoppé & Giuditta – Heidi Breyer – John Morgan – Joniel – Sensitive Heart – Peter Garnvik – Jerry Rockwell – 7and5 – J. M. Quintana Cámara – Peter Calandra – Vibeke Sonora – Dr. Sounds – Michael Joseph – Anaya Music – Elise Lebec – Antje Nagula – Lynn Yew Evers – Natascha Wilczek – Tajalli – Zamora – Luna Blanca – Sunsaria – Suzanne Doucet – Jon Richards – David Vito Gregoli.