Berklee Online presents

Reharmonization: Simple Substitution

Originally published in Chapter 1 of Reharmonization Techniques by Randy Felts Reharmonization: Simple Substitution If reharmonizing a tune is like painting a car, then simple substitution is like choosing a different shade of the same color—going from blue to indigo, or rose to pink. Simple substitution involves replacing a chord with another that has similar […]


How to Write Effective Cold and Cover Letters

Originally published in Chapter 12 of How to Get a Job in the Music and Recording Industry by Keith Hatschek How to Write Effective Cold and Cover Letters What’s the difference between a cold letter and a cover letter? A “cold letter” is one that is submitted, with or without your resume, in the hopes […]

Lyric Elements: The Great Juggling Act

Originally published as the Introduction in Songwriting: Essential Guide to Lyric Form and Structure by Pat Pattison Lyric Elements: The Great Juggling Act BE STILL MY BEATING HEARTIt would be better to be coolIt’s not time to be open just yetAlesson just learned is so hard to forget-Sting, “BE STILL MY BEATINGHEART” You will have […]

Slap Bass Lines: Slap Technique

One of the most challenging aspects of playing slap bass is maintaining an even, full, clear sound. Keep on practicing these exercises and you’ll notice significant improvement in your slapping.

Melody: Some Basics

Originally published in Chapter 1 of Melody in Songwriting: Tools and Techniques for Writing Hit Songs by Jack Perricone Melody: Some Basics MelodyThe two basic elements of music that define melody are pitch and rhythm. Melody is a succession of pitches in rhythm. The melody is usually the most memorable aspect of a song, the […]

Basic Piano Voicing Techniques

Understanding the basics of piano voicings and the use of common tensions is a first step in creating effective orchestrations of reharmonized melodies.

Harmonic Considerations: Modal Harmony

The modes have provided fertile musical soil for jazz composers since the late 1950s. In effect, modes can be viewed as displacements of the major scale.

Funk and R&B Guitar Tutorial with Thaddeus Hogarth

In this timeless classic Berklee Online video, Berklee College of Music Associate Professor and Berklee Online course author and instructor Thaddeus Hogarth offers a free online guitar clinic.

Voice Leading for Guitar

In jazz, you will encounter only seven kinds of diatonic seventh chords (from major, melodic minor, or harmonic minor keys). This article will show you how to voice lead smoothly and easily between these chords and their variations.

Mastering Music Theory: Major and Minor Modes

This post was excerpted from lesson 7 of Paul Schmeling‘s Berklee Online class, Music Theory 201. The Construction of the Major Modes The term modal scales is applied to a group of scales commonly used in pop and jazz music. Modes are different than the “regular” major and minor scales most students are familiar with. […]