How to Steal Chord Progressions & Other Songwriting Tips | February 8th, 7-9pm PST

  |  Pyramind  |  


People are always asking us, "How do I get that sound that I hear in certain popular songs?'" And sometimes, it's not the sound design or mixing they're asking about, but rather its the mood. And that comes from harmony and melody.

In this live online workshop, Pyramind YouTube star, Matt Donner, discusses how different songs leverage a particular technique to achieve "that sound". Starting with one common technique shared by Deadmau5, the Foo Fighters and Hans Zimmer, he will showcase how knowing and using music theory can allow you to "borrow" chords, progressions and modes to achieve an intense and downward movement in harmony.  Matt will also cover more common progressions and ways to take simple (and well-used progressions) and add complexity and emotional change to be both unique and interesting.

Is you want to learn more about using music theory to improve your song writing, this is a unique opportunity you do not want to miss!

What we will cover in this workshop:
• A review of modes and why they're awesome - and limiting.
• Identifying when chord progressions "borrow" chords and modes.
• How modes help us achieve certain moods in music
• An analysis of 3 or more songs that use this technique for descending intensity.
• An analysis of other songs that use similar techniques to achieve harmonic interest between separate modes.
• How to listen for chords and progressions to start dissecting songs yourself and borrow techniques that you like.
• Understanding the importance of simple bass lines to help establish the key

About Matt


Best known for his YouTube theory and arrangement Breakdown series, Matt is available to help you take your songwriting and productions to the next level.

Matt Donner holds a Bachelor’s degree in Quantitative Business Analysis (Penn State) and a Masters in Music Technology (NYU). While developing his Producer and Engineering chops in NYC, he soon found himself working for high-profile studios like Sound on Sound and Greene Street. He went on to perform for various TV studios which included 3 feature film scores with and John Cale (Velvet Underground). After signing his band to an indy record deal, his cross-country tour brought him to SF where the drummer exploded - how typical.

In January 2000, he and Greg Gordon began working together exclusively at Pyramind where they began running the hybrid Production/ Training businesses successfully. Matt has served the company as Chief Engineer, Senior Producer/ Composer, Chief Technical Officer, Vice- President and now as CAO and COO. He helped grow the Pyramind Training program from a single 24 hour class to the highly-touted 900 hour 12-month Complete Producer. He has trained thousands of students, mixed/ mastered dozens of records and has published several magazine articles. Matt has also written two texts on Pro Tools (Thomson Press) as well as the Pyramind Training three-book series published (Alfred Publishing).