How to create a chord progression for a song

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How to create a chord progression for a song
How to create a chord progression for a song
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This article will give you an introduction to developing guitar harmonic progressions for a song. If you've learned 15-20 basic chords, you may have noticed that some sound better together than others. Hence, the question is "Which ones?"

Steps

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Step 1. Use the major or minor scale of your preferred key to find possible chords for the progression

For example, the C major scale contains the following notes in the following order: do, re, mi, fa, sol, la, si.

This means that the following chords can be part of a song in C major, and therefore you can (and should) use them to create a chord progression in the key of C.

Create Chord Progression for a Song Step 5
Create Chord Progression for a Song Step 5

Step 2. Number the chords of the major scale using Roman numerals, which will allow you to make easy progressions

A pattern in any key can be represented "generically" in this way. For example, a common chord progression is I-IV-V, which simply means that regardless of the key, you play the first note or chord in the major scale, then the fourth, and then the fifth.

  • For instance:

    In C major, I represents C, IV represents F, and V represents G.

Create Chord Progression for a Song Step 6
Create Chord Progression for a Song Step 6

Step 3. Begin the song at the root, or chord of the same note as the clef

The I chord is known as the root or tonic chord. It is the basis to which the other chords in a progression are related. Many books and other websites go into great detail about music theory, and ultimately you must learn and understand many terms, but basic harmonic progressions always begin with this "tonic" chord.

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Step 4. Learn common harmonic progressions to get used to the flow of the songs

The first, fourth and fifth (I - IV - V) are chords that sound good together in a progression in most music genres. For example, in the key of E major, the thumb (I) would be my, the ring finger (IV) would be the and the little finger (V) would be yes. Over time, you will learn these "chord sets" but, for now, you should feel free to experiment. Other common progressions include the following:

  • I-V-vi-IV: In this case, the sixth chord (vi) is played as a minor chord. That is why it is in lowercase. Sometimes it is changed (in the chorus or bridge) to vi – IV – I – V.
  • vi-V-IV-V: It's great in many genres.
  • The 12 bar blues.
  • ii-V-I: in this case, the IV chord is replaced by its submediant, ii. The ii chord is a very commonly used replacement for IV. ii-V-I also forms the basis for the fifth descendants (iii-vi-ii-V-I).
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Step 5. Change the chord type (minor, blues, minor seventh chords, etc.)

) to change the feel of the song without changing the chord progression.

When playing blues, the V chord is usually played as a seventh chord. The saddest songs usually use minor chords. You can make adjustments to the chord type while still following the root notes in the chord changes to create a great song in any genre and still keep the progression simple.

  • So to play blues in C with the three-chord theory, strum C for four bars, F for two bars, C for a couple more, and then G seventh for one measure, F for one measure, and back to C. ///, do ///, do ///, do ///, fa ///, fa ///, do ///, do ///, sol7 ///, fa ///, do /// …

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Step 6. Use the minor scale instead of the major to create progressions

After mastering the harmonic progressions with the major scale, how do they sound with a different scale? However, keep in mind that the classical I-IV-V harmonic progression is exactly the same in the major and minor keys.

  • The C minor scale is do-re-mi ♭ -fa-sol-la ♭ -si ♭ -do.

    So the harmonic progression I-IV-V is do-fa-sol, just like before. But what about an I-V-vi-V progression? How do progressions sound different just by changing a chord?

Advice

  • Take the time to practice. Repetition makes it easier and faster.
  • Keep trying if you don't get the hang of what you're doing.

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