Using The Tristan Chord In Your Music With Some Help From Harry Potter

Author: Tommaso Zillio

The Tristan chord is one of the most-oft-talked-about but least-used chords in music theory. Why so?

Based on what I just said you would expect this chord to sound horrible – probably it’s famous only because some music theory nerd finds it interesting.

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But nope. This chord sounds great. Go figure, it’s been used even in the Harry Potter soundtrack (yup, if you’ve seen any of the movies, you’ve heard the chord. In the video I show you where you’ve heard it exactly)

So why it’s not used much? Maybe – quite natural for a chord invented more than 150 years ago – it sounds "old".

Nope. It actually sounds quite interesting and ‘new’.

So maybe it’s hard to play on the guitar? Nope! It’s super-simple!

So why it’s not used much? It’s because every time people explain the Tristan chord, they get lost into a lot of the surrounding theory and they make it more complex than it needs to be.

So in the first half of this video we see together all the practical stuff that we need to use the Tristan chord in our music. Just the basic facts, nothing more – immediate application.

Then, only if you are curious, you can watch the second half of the video where we talk about the theory behind it.

Sounds good?

And if you want more of "interesting chords that we should use more in our music", here’s some more.

Here’s a video on the "Stevie Wonder chord", one of the lesser-used altered dominant chord that sound pretty meh by itself, but great when you put it in the right progression (all explained in the video):

And here’s a video on a chord that most musicians know, but that they use comparatively rarely in their songs. Interestingly, this is also related to the Tristan chord:


About the Author

Tommaso Zillio is a prog rock guitarist and teacher with a passion for Music Theory applied to Guitar. To know more do not forget to subscribe to his youtube channel.

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