Exploring Minor Line Clichés

Exploring Minor Line Clichés

Since we previously learnt about major line clichés in this article, we will now learn about its darker cousin – the minor line cliché. Among the topics we’ll discuss are what is a minor line cliché, examples of songs with minor line clichés, and how we can incorporate them into our songwriting.

This blog post aims to summarise the second part of our video ‘4 Chord Tricks The Beatles Knew (and you should too!)’’. Click here to watch the video for more details, explanations and examples.

What is a Minor Line Cliché?

Unlike its major counterpart, the minor line cliché commences with a minor chord, lending a melancholic foundation to the melody. For instance, in “Something” by The Beatles, the second half of the verse beautifully exemplifies this technique.

Starting from the A Min chord, we slide the highest note down a semitone, producing an intriguing chord known as A Min Maj 7. If we slide the highest note down a further semitone, then we get an A Min 7 chord.

As a result, we create a chord progression that has an incredibly wistful, emotive, and sophisticated sound.

Click below to download a free PDF containing major and minor line cliches in 2 positions:

Examples of Songs that Use Minor Line Clichés

  1. “Nothing” by Bruno Major

Bruno Major’s “Nothing” beautifully demonstrates the use of a minor line cliché in the bridge section of the song. The chords progress from A minor, descending chromatically to create a captivating melodic line that infuses the composition with a sense of yearning and emotional depth.

You can check out this video here to see me elaborate on that, and teach you how to use a minor line cliché in the bridge of a song

  1. “Eleanor Rigby” by The Beatles

Another Beatles classic, “Eleanor Rigby,” features a prominent minor line cliché. The verse melody begins with an A minor chord and descends chromatically to create an evocative melodic line. The melancholic tonality of the minor line cliché contributes to the haunting and introspective atmosphere of the song.

How to Incorporate Minor Line Clichés into Our Own Songwriting

To ensure that we don’t fall into the trap of merely mimicking techniques that we‘ve learnt from songs, we must try and add our own spin on the minor line cliché. Below are some techniques that you could use to customise your minor line cliché:

  1. Use alternative chords

Instead of starting your minor line cliché from A Min, try starting it on a different minor diatonic chord instead. A min is the vi chord of the key C Maj, but it’s important to remember that it’s not the only minor chord in the key. Chords ii and iii are also minors, and you could start your minor line cliché from either of them instead.

  1. Rethinking placement

Where you use the minor line cliché is also an important choice to make. For instance, if you introduce the minor line cliché at the beginning of your song, you set the tone for the emotional journey that lies ahead. Alternatively, explore the impact of incorporating the cliché into a distinct section of your song, such as the bridge.

Conclusion: Exploring Minor Line Clichés

The minor line cliché, with its hauntingly beautiful tonality, offers a captivating twist on its major counterpart, inviting artists to explore new depths of emotional expression. By skillfully adapting the minor line cliché to your unique artistic vision, you can infuse your songs with a timeless allure, crafting melodies that resonate with listeners on a profound level.

If you want to explore minor line clichés in more detail, click here for a playlist on how to adapt chord progressions from other songs in really creative ways.

This is only the second of four chord tricks we have for songwriters. Check out the full article for all 4 tips or check out the video here

Turn your inspiration into beautiful songs with step-by-step guidance through two professional songwriting methods. By the end of this course, not only will your tool belt be stocked; you’ll have a plan and a method for finishing your songs – all of them.

Leave a Reply