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10 Techniques to Reharmonize ANY Song

Updated: Oct 24, 2022

In this series, you will learn how to reharmonize any song in 10 different ways using Chord substitution and embellishment techniques.

You can use these methods on pretty much any diatonic song (genres like folk, ballad, pop, or even rock). To demonstrate these techniques, Jason Zac uses Leonard Cohen's song "Hallelujah". Originally, the song is at a 6/8 feel and the chord progression is listed below:

Chapter 1: Add and Sus Chords, Seventh Chords, and Jazz Extensions and Passing Slash Chords for Jazz Tensions

1. Add and Sus Chords:

Quite simply, an “add” chord is simply an interval added to an existing triad. We could add a 2nd, 4th, or 6th diatonically to spice up a chord. For example, with a C major, you can add an M2, the D or you can add the perfect 4th, the F, you could also add the sixth, A.

You can also go with an exotic or modal flavor by adding b2 (m2) and the tritone (#4). The b2 makes the sound very eastern and the tritone gives the harmony a “Lydian” vibe

Add chords should not be confused with Suspended chords in the sense that we are not removing any notes from the existing triad. A suspended chord removes or “suspends” the third and provides a nice sense of anticipation which can eventually lead back to the 3rd. You should thus use both add and suspension chords in conjunction with each other while you reharmonize a song.

2. Seventh Chords and Jazz Extensions: