Non-Diatonic Chords (songwriting mini-course & interview with Neil Cowley)

We're over the moon happy to bring you today's super special episode of the Hack Music Theory show.

What's so special about it? Well, two things actually: Firstly, we recently had the great pleasure and honour of discussing songwriting with the legendary British composer/pianist, Neil Cowley (and yes, our interview is in this video). Secondly, this episode is another free songwriting mini-course, which builds a four-part lesson off our interview, where Ray teaches the "Neil Cowley Technique" (as heard in the piano part of this genius' hugely successful single "Grace") of writing diatonic melodies & non-diatonic chord progressions.

So, check out this Hack Music Theory lesson and learn how to make your own songs stand out from the crowd! In this fickle industry where everyone is timidly copying everyone else (resulting in the dumbing down of music), just one or two clever chromatic notes in your chord progressions can ensure they're truly original, while not detracting from your singable melodies. Click the play button and discover how to simultaneously please the masses, and your inner artist! But first... tea!

"Ray, the brilliant tattooed man, knows his onions!"
—Neil Cowley

"It’s a tutorial... and it’s entertaining. Who could ask for more?"
—Neil Cowley

Also, be sure to check out the Neil Cowley Trio website, here:

By the way, we spent about 40 hours creating this free mini-course for you. So if you find it helpful, please consider supporting our work. We want to continue making free weekly music theory videos, and if you become a patron for just a couple bucks a month, you help make this workload sustainable for us. If you're interested, please visit

We really hope you dig our new lesson, and if you wanna get your hands on all the vital theory hacks you need to write great songs, then please download my Hack Music Theory for Songwriting & Producing PDF.

Thank you for being brave and committing to make the world a better place through better music. Until next week, happy songwriting & producing!

Ray Harmony - Victoria BC, Canada
Musician | Songwriter | Producer | Teacher