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Songwriter's "Chordisthenics"


  Hi, welcome to Tonaltrends dot com “Chordisthenics” Intro Video!

  OK, so I remember when I was first learning guitar, and happened to come across what they call a “chord book”, you’ve seen these things--They got a whole bunch of chords and like… that’s their thing.

  At first I was like, “Oh, right on.” But then it was like “ah, wul, great, but what am I supposed to do with all these—like, play through this entire book and memorize it, chord by chord?” Well that sounds like a jolly old hoot.”

  So yeah I didn’t end up doing that:  

The problem with it was: there wasn’t any rhyme or reason to it, and no particular reason why I should learn all these chords.

  So what I’m getting at is: I might’ve liked it better, or it would have been more useful to me, if there was a chapter in there somewhere that was something like: “Eyyy: learn these first buddy; dese are the best ones, then learn dese, and then dese, and then dese are cool because of this, and dese are cool cause of that” and on and on and on.

Or it would’ve also been cool if there was a part like: “And Learn these chords Last--cause no one plays these ever.”


  Cause Then I’d have been like “heheng--Nuts To You! I’ma learn all these first! Cause I’m a rebel and I’m gonna create a whole new kinda music from these misfit nobody-plays’m ever chords, you’ll see!”

  But yeah anywayz--you know what I mean: when you’re faced with a whole bunch of stuff, it’s not very engaging unless it’s got some kind of noticeable hierarchy to it, an entrance point: or some place to begin.

  And that’s why I started Tonal Trends “Chordisthenics”.

  It’s like a “chord book” - that takes you on a tour of what chords are the most used, and then on down, and it helps you practice your chords in a way that’s intuitively closer to how people actually use chords in pop music.

  OK, so these little Chord Exercise Videos come in two different kinds:

“Key of” videos, and “Chord of” videos.

  In the “Key of” workouts we’ll play through 28 of the most common used chord triad types--listed up here on the board--in any one of the 12 “Keys.”

  By now you’ve probably noticed that they’re separated into 4 columns based on the chord type, but that’s not the order we’ll play them in.

  We’ll play them in their color order, which highlights the most used ones on down to the least used.

  First we’ll play the Red Chords—-the most popularly played chords in music, which can be found in over 20% of songs.

  Oh, and what’s cool about doing it this way is that you can customize your chord-workout length to go only as long as you care to go. So you don’t have to learn all 28 chords before you start: if you want, you can first just do the Red chords.

  Then you can progress onto learning and playing the green chords—the next most popular chords--which can be found in between 10%-20% of songs.

  Then we’ll play the blue chords which can be found in between 4%-10% of songs.

Oh, and also, if you need the chord charts, both guitar and keyboard chord charts, that line up visually with what’s on the board, they’ll be below, on the video’s Tonal Trends webpage itself.

So if you’re watching from somewhere else and you want to take advantage of the charts, there’s a link in the youtube info, click it.

  OK, last up, for the advanced chord slingers, we’ll run through the black chords, which can be found only in less than 4% of the songs out there.

Oh, and for information on how we came up with the Chordisthenics “Key of” chords up here, please watch the Tonal Trends video: “Chords Musicians use Most,” on the Spotter Stats blog.

  That video only highlights 24 chord triads, but for the “Key of” Chordisthenics, I threw in the V7 chord, and a couple more miscellaneous “less than 4 percent” used chords just for fun--and so the miscellaneous column wouldn’t feel left-out or short changed.

  OK, at this point in the intro you might be thinking like—“dude: 24 chords, 28 chords—don’t you know there’s like a thousand chords out there? What’s the deal Smart Guy?”

  Well, Here’s the deal: the loophole with these chords is that they’re only the most basic 1-3-5 triads (except for the three dominant 7s that I threw in cause I couldn’t help myself.)

  But yeah, these are just the base triads. These are the plain cupcake chords, no frosting or decorations on these, yet.

  See, any one of these plain cupcake chords up here can be decorated, or modified, in any number of ways.

  Which brings us to the “Chord of” Chordisthenics workouts: for these videos, we’ll be taking any one of the 12 root notes, and playing the most common chord variations of that chord root, and on down to the less commonly used variations.

  So here on the board you can see--for example—that you can change a chord, or decorate a chord, by making it:

  ^, -, o, +,(oh and don’t worry if you don’t know some of these symbols, you learn’m real fast after a little bit or practice.)  

  You can make a chord a 7 chord (or dominant),

  You can sustain a note or add a note, using 2s, 4s, 6s, 9s, 11s, 13s, and there’s even 5 chords (or Power chords) and then on top of that you can even Sharp or Flat most of these notes that you’re adding to the basic triads!

  You can make ‘alt’ chords--and if that wasn’t enough, you can invert all these variations by changing their roots or even adding roots that aren’t even in the chords themselves!

  But we’re still not Done!!! Any of these chord variations can be ‘voiced’ differently, by taking some of their notes and changing their octaves!

  So between the different chord TYPES, MODIFICATIONS, INVERSIONS, and VOICINGS…what you end up with then, is thousands of possibilities every time you change from one chord to another!


  We’ve started shooting the videos based on the more common Keys and Chord roots, but by the end, we’ll have made videos for all 12 Keys and all 12 root Chords, so keep checking back!

  And for a better explanation of why we’re shooting in the order we are, watch the “Keys Musicians used Most” video in Spotter Stats!

  All right ready to pump some iron?… Or like, cause piano strings and guitar string are made of iron sometimes, or maybe nickel plated, unless you’re playing with nylon strings, which are thermoplastic polymers…

  Anywayz, thanks for watching! Lets play some chords!