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 […]


A person typing on a laptop.

How to Write Effective Cold and Cover Letters

In this excerpt from “How to Get a Job in the Music and Recording Industry,” Keith Hatschek explains how to write effective cold letters and cover letters.

Lyric Elements: The Great Juggling Act

In this excerpt from “Introduction in Songwriting: Essential Guide to Lyric Form and Structure,” Pat Pattison explains the elements of lyrics.

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

Berklee Online guitar instructor Thaddeus Hogarth demonstrates the importance of the pentatonic scale in funk and R&B music.

Guitarist learning how to voice lead on acoustic guitar.

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.

A woman playing piano using the music modes.

Music Modes: Major and Minor Modal Scales in Music Theory

Learn how to master the major and minor music modes with this excerpt from Berklee Online’s Music Theory 201 course by Paul Schmeling.