Cadences explained (Part 1)

Secret Guitar Teacher

More videos from Secret Guitar Teacher Channel
Published on 26 January 2016
For more information from the source site of this video please visit: This is a sample of one of the advanced lessons from the Secret Guitar Teacher site (see link above). It is not for beginners and assumes that you have already studied the basics of Guitar Music Theory. But for anyone who has maybe heard of cadences, but not really fully appreciated the important role they play in song chord sequences, this lesson should help put them into perspective. Here's the abridged transcript: OK -- so what exactly is a cadence? Well, I think the best way to describe it is as 'a combination of chords that allows the composer to control the flow of a chord sequence to best serve the song or part of the song that they are writing'. Now, you'll remember from the harmonising lessons that we can work with any major key by thinking of chords as numbers and that when we work this way we divide the key into Primary chords based on steps 1, 4 and 5 of the scale. And Secondary chords based on steps 2, 3, 6 and 7 of the scale. From the point of view of this lesson, the other important feature of the harmonised sequence is the position of the relative minor chord -- the 6th. Now when we discuss relationships between chords we are mostly discussing the subject of tension. The building of tension...and the releasing - or to use a more musically correct term -- resolving of tension. So here's the I chord -- nice and relaxed. Moving to the IV chord we get significant tension. That quite easily pulls back to the key chord. But when we move to the V chord. We really are maxing out on the tension and we get a very strong sense of resolution as we move it back to the I chord. For the moment we'll think in the key of C. C is chord I and we can shift to the F -- chord IV and back, and we get a nice pleasant sense of mild tension and resolution. But when we hit the V chord (G in this case), we can feel tension of a different order and a much stronger sense of resolution as we return to the I chord. We'll see that this basic relationship between the three primary chords is central to the subject of cadences as we now introduce you to the five types of cadence that are most commonly used and show you some examples of each of them in turn. In the first column you can see that each type of cadence has a name. As with most things musical you may find variations of these names, so it's probably more important to remember the detail in the second column. These are the actual chord changes that make each cadence work the way it does. In the third column I have provided some specific examples in the key of G. Ok so let's home in on the first cadence. The Authentic cadence. This is a movement from chord V to chord I. It is used to complete a musical line or to end off a song or section of a song in such way as to make it sound completed. For example Stand By me by Ben E King.That's an example of using the V - I authentic cadence to complete the line. Now to complete a song -- let's look at Bob Dylan's Knocking on Heaven's Door: This song has a kind of circular chord sequence, which, it has to be said, works great, but it gives you the problem of how to end off the song at the very end. At the moment we have lines ending V -- ii and V -- IV -- neither of these make a cadence which is exactly why the song just keeps rolling on. By imposing an authentic V -- I cadence at the very end of the song we get a definite sense that it's all over. OK, our next cadence is the Half cadence. A half cadence is achieved simply by ending a line on the fifth chord, and it doesn't really matter what comes before it. Here's a couple of great examples, both from the same song -- Van Morrison's Brown-Eyed Girl My next example from the refrain of the same song really demonstrates the power of the fifth chord used in this way... you can really see why the fifth is often referred to as the Dominant Chord in the key! In the next lesson we'll work through the remaining three cadences on our list and learn how to really smarten up the endings of songs when you perform them in front of a live audience! OK See you then!

Please, Login or sign up to leave a comment or create playlists!