Multi-Tonic Music Composition. Major and Minor Piano Chord Progressions.
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Multi-Tonic Music Composition. Major and Minor Piano Chord Progressions.

August 26, 2019

Hello and welcome to this
week’s video is to answer an interesting question posted by Julien a
member of and the question is when making a song will its sound good if you mix minor and
major positions or should you use only one of the two over and over again. Well, thank
you Julien that’s a very interesting question because it allows
us to stretch ourselves to be able to answer it of course it all depends on what kind of
sound we’re trying to achieve what color, what mood but I guess the best way to find out
is to try it out ourselves and see how it sounds like. The problem that we
have, that most of us encounter is that music is so full of rules that can be
paralyzing but there is always a way around you can’t break the rules but you
can bend them, as they say so let’s elaborate on these. If we’re composing
Modal Music, say on the major or minor mode, Ionean, Aeolian, Dorian, Mixolidian
for example, then the characteristics of the chords will be given by the scale of the Mode
itself so then there’s no question about major and minor chords since they’re
already predetermined. On the major mode we know that the first one is major the second one is minor the third one is minor the fourth is subdominant
major The fifth is major dominant the sixth is minor and the seventh is half-diminished
or diminished if we are using triads so we can say okay I just want to use
the major chordsm then the major chords of os the scale will be 1, 4, 5 so let’s go them playing the major scale
on the bass with our left hand and let’s play the I, IV, V chords with
the right hand and that would sound something like this All the chords are major but the characteristics
of the chords is so strong because they’re being defined by the major mode so the I would
be the tonic, the IV the subdominant, the V he dominant, and so
any other chords that we play within a Mode will be affected the same way
by the scale of the mode itself let’s say we play II-V-I on the major
mode well then the II will be minor the V will be dominant and the IV will
be a major and it will sound like even if we try to create variations by
changing the species of the chords and give it a dominant functions instead, let’s
say we play II-V-I and then VI-II-V-I and the VI that should be minor let’s
make a major dominant chord instead it would sound like… II minor V Dominant I Major VI Dominant IIm-V We can play a suspended chord and then…I but it’s always been predetermined by
the mode itself even if we start using dominant substitutes and their relative
minors, or modulation, passing tones… it will always sound like the major mode
but let’s say we want to be free from these rules let’s see we want to
experience the blend of the major and minor chords out of that environment
without the predetermined chord structure if you will let’s use the multi-tonic technique in
which chords descend by 3rds to illustrate this concept. Let’s start from C major
and then descend a minor 3rd and then a major 3rd, and then a minor 3rd, and the
a major, and then a minor and then a major again. Let’s start from C
major and then descend, Major 3rd minor 3rd, major 3rd minor 3rd, major 3rd, minor 3rd, major 3rd
but always with major chords OK, Now let’s play some kind of melody to
go with the chords. Let’s repeat… one more time and now let’s keep going down see what I did there I jumped two major
3rds and it produced a resolution by modulation Now let’s do the same but
this time using only minor chords but instead of going on a minor 3rd let’s
go down a major 3rd and then a minor and then a minor. Let’s hear how it
sounds all minor chords… Let’s continue down… It has a much darker sound. We can also change
the character of the chords by changing the b7 of the minor chord to a major 7 that would
make them then minor-major chords which means they would have the minor 3rd
against the major 7th creating a lot of tension. Let’s see what happens if
we play them It’s a very interesting sound indeed. Now
let’s alter and use a combination of both, major and minor chords. Let’s start with major, then minor, then
major, then minor, then major, then minor, and major… We go down a minor 3rd (minor chord), major
3rd (major chord) minor 3rd (minor chord), major 3rd (major chord) minor and the major again but if we observe closely. Now we’re
playing the chords of the major mode IMaj7, which is the tonic. Then VIm7 IVMaj7 and then IIm7 which they all belong to the major
mode I, VI, IV, II and then we could even play the dominant but we’re not thinking it that way the harmonic
analysis might indicate that way, but we mean to say something else it just
like in any language the same sentence or phrase will have a
different meaning depending on the context but now that our mind is free
from the cage of rules we can actually take advantage of both techniques the
multi-tonic, but also the major mode as an anchor. Let’s make a quick melody to illustrate this
concept. lets start on C Major A minor Let’s repeat IIm7-V7. Will go to the Dominant Now… let’s go back and now we continue down for the
resolution I hope this video helps to clarify some of
these music composition concepts. If you like the video,
please subscribe to our channel Leave us a comment below.
Tell us what’s your angle. Don’t forget to visit our blog at
for more great articles and videos about Modern Piano Thank you, and I’ll see you on the next video…

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  1. This is a really good video. I was looking for one like this. Keep it up!!! El ingles es perfecto…bueno, con la excepcion del accento.

  2. Thank you for this video, which is one of the most informative chord use in music. I hope to see more like this. Much idiom gracias!

  3. Descending by m3, 3… we have: Cmaj7, (m3)Amaj7, (3)Fmaj7, (m3)Dmaj7, (3)Bbmaj7, (m3)Gmaj7, (3)Ebmaj7, (m3) Cmaj7 again.
    (Defined and played: Four m3 and three 3rds) (Fine!)

    Descending by 3, m3… we have: Cm7, ….(3)Abm7, (m3)Fm7, (3)Dbm7, (m3)Bbm7, (3)Gbm7, (m3)Ebm7, (3) Bbm7 again.
    Sequence played on example: Cm7, ….(3)Abm7, (m3)Fm7, * (m3)Dm7, (m3)Bm7, (3)Gm7, (m3)Em7, (3) Cm7 I guess.
    (Defined: Four 3rds and three m3) (*Played: three 3rds and four m3)(What?)

    Was this late Dm7 a sort of "compensation" for the Dbm7 of the prior sequence formula?, if so, may I "compensate" de descending MAJOR thirds Gbm7 OR Bm7 with ONE substitution for the descending MINOR thirds Gm7 OR Cm7 for a complete turnaround?

    May I compensate Gbm7 (*Gm7) Cm7, ….(3)Abm7, (m3)Fm7, (3)Dbm7, (m3)Bbm7, *(m3)Gm7, (m3)Em7, (3) Cm7 again.
    Or may I… Bm7(*Cm7)? Cm7, ….(3)Abm7, (m3)Fm7, (3)Dbm7, (m3)Bbm7, (3)Gbm7, (m3)Ebm7, *(m3)Cm7 again.

    One last question: As in descending m3, 3 sequence, may I modulate with one substitution of Dbm7 or Gbm7 or Bm7 for one of this "set" (half step above) Dm7 or Gm7 or Cm7?
    Agradezco anticipadamente tu amable respuesta.

  4. Man you are amazing. I've been looking for lessons that I can understand. Thank you and God bless you.

  5. Hi- It's a neat technique.
    One question: How do you know where to get "resolution" chord? Usually, the dominant chord can lead us back to the beginning chord, but in your video, your last chord are not G7. ????? So in Multi-Tonic Music Composition, how I get the resolution?
    Thanks!! Good luck !!

  6. Very organic and free sounding. Thank you for clearing up in your previous video the misconception of two part playing into 3 part which makes more musical sense. To all out there…a good teacher of mine once told me.."making music isn't a mindless experience but a mind opening experience". Memorize concepts but allow those things to create shape and colour to your playing; then playing becomes fun and an exploration of tone. God bless!

  7. This is the most amazing music channel I've ever seen! I play guitar and you are helping me a lot. Thank you very much sir!

  8. This man is amazing, a piano genius master pianist/teacher. I've never seen or hear anything like this…this man is not greedy…he shares with everybody such deep piano secrets. I'm not a pianist but a saxophonist…he's shown me deep musical concepts on piano…he's a God's send. Please pay him if you can, only if you want to be a great pianist or teacher…he's great.

  9. Would you pls consider doing a video on how to select melody notes for composing to chord progressions? In other words how to link melody notes and chord progressions together. Thank you.

  10. Hi, great lesson!
    Just wanted to know what did you mean by saying "I jumped two major thirds and it produced a resolution by modulation" when playing BbMaj7 to F#Maj7? The way I see it is that Bb descending to F# is just a single major third.. or am I mistaken. Regardless really enjoyed the lesson, just wanted to clear that one up..

  11. wow! amazing teacher. Hope you'll find time to post a lesson about reharmonizing a traditional 1-4-5 songs 😊

  12. What great lessons you have posted, Federico! I have studied Dick Grove's Musicianship and Jazz Piano courses, and you help bridge the gap between the book work and 'making the music tick'. Thank You!

  13. My only negative on this fine tutorial is when you're playing the chords to let people hear what they sound're always adding in notes making them 9th, 11th 13th type chords for example your apparent Gmaj chord has a Gsharp note in there too making what you are actually playing a GMaj7b9….it's a bit cheeky like

  14. The chords that you put on the screen don't match up with what you're playing… Great video, but I think you need to either post the correct chords, play the chords that you display on the screen, or explain why you use altered the chords that you chose to… I get that the main point of the lesson can still be understood, but most of the people watching these videos are trying to learn on their own, and all these extended and altered chords become convoluted if you don't understand the theory behind them…

  15. At the request of the subscribers, we started the new series "Piano for the Modern Musician" available at

  16. While this is a very interesting and useful lesson, and is similar to multi-tonic progressions in sound and approach. It is technically not multi-tonic as the combination of minor and major third root movement is not a subset of limited transposition 'If one is creating tunes with multi-tonic changes, a coherent key scheme based on note groupings of limited transposition must exist' Yamaguchi – Annnual review of jazz studies 2002.

  17. You really should slow your talking speed. Too fast. Who will understand what are your talking about when they are learning. Then you should tell them tensions that you used in your chord. C major 9. A minor 9. G13. You are not just playing 7th chord. All your colors from 9 and 13.

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