The Key House music Chords

I’ve been spending time recently looking back some great tunes as I look to develop my own song writing skills, so I thought I’d share some of the fruits with you guys
Classic house music has a distinct sound, just like the rock & roll, folk and the blues. In fact blues and house have more in common than you might initially think! The minor sounds…
Ok lets hit it from the top, a chord is a group of notes from within the scale in use.  Typically 3 known as a triad. They are composed of notes third interval apart from the root note of the chord. For example C Major chord is composed of C, E, G. After the root note, the 3rd triad is the most important, as it determines if the chord is major or minor. All chords are based on the same structure so a major 3rd is 4 semitones up from the root, a minor 3 semitones. A semitone is the interval between a note, such as C to C#. The notes of a major chord are always the same distance apart: 4 & 3 semitones. The notes of a minor chord are always the same distance apart: 3 & 4.
The Key sounds you’ll hear in house are minor chords – minor, minor7th, minor 9th and minor 11th chords. Its the addition of the higher notes to the basic minor chord that add the depth and color to the sound. the number refering to the notes position in the scale. 7th is flat 7th which in C is Bb.
You can play the notes as you like, the norm is from the root up the keyboard, but for phatness you can spread this with the bass and 5th note on the lower ocrtaves. A popular trick and one currently employed by Swedish House Mafia to great effect is that of layering the notes of the chord across several instruments. This gives added depth and sense of harmony.
One the acid house classics that still works on the dancefloor in my set is Kevin Saundersans ‘Innercity – Goodlife’, which after Marshall jeffersons ‘Move Your Body’ must have one of the most memorable piano riffs, that has been emulated, borrowed and stolen countless times since
This is all based on a simple 4 chord progression using minor chords. Bm, f#m,Am,Em. I’ll let you work out the stab pattern for homework ;p.
For a great introduction to chords check out this excellent website for piano playing – FastPianoLessons, there is also a FREE downloadable book on how to grasp chords quick!
Analysis great pop songs you like and see the progressions that work. As a starter check out Axis of AWesomes 4 chord song! You might recognise some them ;p

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  1. #1 by Indoor Grills · on November 4, 2010 - 9:24 am

    i take my kids for piano lessons because i want them to learn about playing the piano ::

  2. #2 by Gina on July 13, 2011 - 12:53 pm

    Neat article. I am a musician that usually plays blues/classic rock/southern rock. I am currently looking at a project that is about house music. It would have been nice if the article went a little further and discussed the structure. I am used to the classic I IV V or ii vi I structure. Is there a basic structure? I know it weighs more on the minors, but …….. The video was awesome, too.

  3. #3 by JJ on February 29, 2012 - 12:30 am

    Really loved the 4chord video. One lives and learns…

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