Your songwriting will blossom when armed with chord theory mastery.

Talk about chops! Comprehend the key structure like never before.

Instantly transpose any progression into each and every key.  Easily

Take complexity out of learning your invaluable chord theory.

Analyzing Songs and Compositional Styles

Whether you're analyzing a given composition in preparing an improvisation or just to see what aspects of music theory your favorite tune uses that makes it 'click,' the Chord Wheel will prove worth its weight in gold. (And maybe Gold Records.) This section will walk you through analyzing any progression; though we'll use the compositions of The Beatles as a reference point as most people agree they were pretty decent songwriters.

The Chord Wheel will make analyzing even the most complex progressions a breeze. While many popular songs remain entirely in one key, it's not unusual for a song to modulate to any number of keys. This is especially true with jazz which frequently modulates in and out of various keys throughout a given composition. In more traditionally structured music, you'll often find key modulations at points in a tune that musically 'take the song somewhere else;' such as a chorus or a bridge.

If in the middle of a verse there appears a chord that sounds like it came out of left field, it's probably out of key (often referred to as accidentals though they are not accidents at all). It's important to remember that 'out of key' does not imply incorrectness. In fact, many amazing songs are memorable because of their use of less predictable chords. What's important is that you know where these chords are coming from so it can become part of your ever -expanding musical vocabulary.

Armed with this knowledge, you'll be able to more precisely control your melody lines, improvisations, chord substitutions and 'comping.' (The last term is derived from 'accompanying' and meaning to freely interpret a chord progression behind a soloist in such a way that you add variety without altering the tonality of the song which would confuse the soloist and listeners). Each of these essential skills will be more readily mastered with use of the Chord Wheel.

Let's use the Chord Wheel to analyze the compositional style of Lennon , McCartney and Harrison. It's much easier than it sounds and you'll immediately begin to realize your unique voice. We'll start with 'Let it Be.



LET IT BE by The Beatles (Lennon/McCartney)
     C___G___ Am___ F___ C ____G____ F ____C____
Am___Em__ F ____C___ C ____G____ F ____C____



Analyzing LET IT BE

Turn the clear plastic disk until you find as many chords in the "Let It Be" progression contained within the triangular pattern (or also within the two lighter highlights just clockwise of the pattern) as possible. When you placed the disk where the lower-centered 'KEY-I Chord' box is aligned with the letter 'C' you were certain to notice that all of the verse and chorus chords are contained within the triangular pattern. Congratulations! You've just discovered that "Let It Be" can be said to be in the 'Key of C.'






Note that all of the chords used in "Let It Be" are contained within the triangular outline printed on the Chord Wheel's transparent disk. And as the "Key" arrow is pointed to the "C," we can say the song is in the 'Key of C.'