Author Topic: [muso] Chord Progressions?  (Read 843 times)

[muso] Chord Progressions?
« on: February 23, 2004, 11:03:16 PM »
Apart from the famous I - IV - V, what chord progressions are there? Is there a resource anywhere on the interweb (free, of course) that can tell me what good chord progressions ther are?!


[muso] Chord Progressions?
« Reply #1 on: February 24, 2004, 11:26:54 AM »
Slacker! work out your own.

Take for example the three chord trick in C major
I = C E G
IV = F A C
V = G B D (usually Vmin7, because the minor 7 = F, so when it goes back to IV the root note is already there and the B and D go down a step to A C)

The I to IV sounds groovy to the white man's ears partly because the root of the I becomes the fifth of the IV

So, sit down and play with inversions of your first chord, for example:
C sus 4 = C F G

Just a glance at that chord tells you that it contains two of the notes for a progression to the IV chord (F and C)

that glance also reveals two notes for a Gmin7 (G and F).

So far you've spotted chords whose root note (strongest) is in the progression, but you can of course make progressions which make use of these notes elsewhere in the structure.

Let's look at stretching the imagination by progressing to a D minor (D F A), we're in a bit of trouble as the fourth of the I chord becomes the minor third of the II chord, but if we tried a D minor with a minor 7 (D F A C), things are beginning to look up as we now have two notes from the first chord still sounding in the second (F and C) and we may have a 'walking' bass progression from C to D.

Needless to say, in the D minor with a minor 7 you spotted the three notes that make up the major triad of F (F A C).

Let's say you wanted to throw in a B flat major after the F major. It might well work because the triad for the B flat is Bflat D F. So what would happen is that the F note changes from being a V to a I (which it likes doing) and the fifth note goes up a note from C to D.

In a nutshell as this is going off on one: pick a chord, write out all the notes it has in that key and then see what will fit.

C major = C D E F G A B C

So, if you stuck an E flat major in next it would jar because its triad is E flat, G, B flat, whereas E minor wouldn't so much (E G B), it would probably be lovely because the first two notes of that triad are the last two of the C triad and the root note drops one note from C to B.

C major to A minor is exceptionally lovely as it is the major changing to its relative minor: all the triad notes for A minor can be found in the key of C major (in addition almost all the notes of the scale of A minor are the same as those for the notes in C major except one [or two depending on which way you're going and which minor scale [harmonic/melodic] you are playing]).

I haven't re-read this before posting so it may be littered with errors, go on to T'internet and print off all the major and minor scales and then build your own progressions.

Ascending bassline. begin in C major. The game is to have a progression with an ascending bassline.
key/scale: C D E F G A B C
C (C E G)
D (D F# A) third doesn't fit in C scale, so Dmin (D F A)
E (E G# B) third doesn't fit so, Emin (E G B)
F (F A C) fits in C scale
G (G B D) fits in C scale
A (A C# E) third doesn't fit, so Amin (A C E)
B (B D# F#) doesn't fit, so diminsh it: flatten third and fifth (B D F)
C (C E G)

So, that above gives you the chords in the key of C major which will fit snugly
I major
II minor
III minor
IV major
V major
VI minor
VII dimished

and, a mere look reveals that the only major chords are the I, IV, V and that is why the three chord trick works.

You may start this progression with minor keys as well as major ones.

[muso] Chord Progressions?
« Reply #2 on: February 24, 2004, 05:53:55 PM »
A nice little essay there matey!!!

The only thing I'd take issue with is...

Quote from: "elderford"
V = G B D (usually Vmin7, because the minor 7 = F.

Gm7 is actually G Bflat D F and

G7 is G B D F

Gmaj7 is G B D F#

[muso] Chord Progressions?
« Reply #3 on: May 19, 2004, 12:57:49 AM »
OK - I know it's been a while, but it's the first time I've actally sat down with this, and thus far, it's taken me all night.

Is this right?

C Major - C D E F G A B


Dm (D F A) (II)   Dm6 (D F A B) (II)
Dm7 (D F A C) (II)   Dsus2 (D E A) (II)
Dsus4 (D G A) (II)   D7sus4 (D G A C) (II)

Em (E G B) (III)   Em7 (E G B D) (III)
Esus4 (E A B) (III)   E7sus4 (E A B D) (III)

F Major (IV)   F6 (F A C D) (IV)
Fadd9 (F A C G) (IV)   FMaj7 (F A C E) (IV)
F2 (F G A C) (IV)   Fsus2 (F G C) (IV)

G Major (V)   G6 (G B D E) (V)
G7 (G B D F) (V)   Gadd9 (G B D A) (V)
G2 (G B A D) (V)   Gsus2 (G A D) (V)
Gsus4 (G C D) (V)   G7sus4 (G C D F) (V)

Am (A C E) (VI)   Am7 (A C E G) (VI)
Asus2 (A B E) (VI)   Asus4 (A D E) (VI)
A7sus4 (A D E G) (VI)

Bdim (B D F) (VII)


C Harmonic Minor - C D Eb F G Ab B

Possible Progressions

Ddim (D F Ab) (II)

EbAug (Eb G B) (III)

Fm (F Ab C) (IV)   Fm6 (F Ab C D) (IV)
Fm7 (F Ab C Eb) (IV)   Fm9 (F Ab C Eb G) (IV)
Fdim (F Ab B) (IV)   Fdim7 (F Ab B D) (IV)
Fsus2 (F G C) (IV)

G Major (G B D) (V)   G7 (G B D F) (V)
GAug (G B Eb) (V)   Gsus4 (G C D) (V)
G7sus4 (G C D F) (V)

Ab Major (Ab C Eb) (VI)   AbMaj7 (Ab C Eb G) (VI)
Abm (Ab B Eb) (VI)   Abm6 (Ab B Eb F) (VI)
Abdim (Ab B D) (VI)   Abdim7 (Ab B D F) (VI)

Bdim (B D F) (VII)   Bdim7 (B D F Ab) (VII)
Baug (B Eb G) (VII)

Yes, I know, all night for two chords doesn't look good, but am I on the right track? The only reason I ask is that I find Bb Major a nice chord to go into from C minor but your rule of thumb doesn't want to include it. Am I missing something?

[muso] Chord Progressions?
« Reply #4 on: May 19, 2004, 07:24:55 AM »
This is a very complicated (And dull) way to go about it.

Basically, these days, people's ears are very accepting, so you can follow one chord with any other...Whatever sounds nice is right for you.

However if you want to make the progression sound 'right' and be acoustically pleasant, you need to make the notes in each chord go 'the right way.' Elderford's post shows ways of how you can do that, but for a full insight, you need to get 'Rudiments And Theory Of Music,' a book which explains four part harmony and other useful techniques. However, in these days of barre chords hammered out on guitars, the actual progression of each note within a harmony has become less important. BUT, There are things which you should still avoid (Anticipating the resolution of a suspended note for example, eh, Sheepy!!!), but these things generally sound nasty enough to be avoided.

But, like I said, you don't really need all that...You can bet that most 'popular' music writers don't know a thing about classical harmony...They have that special ingredient...Talent, which has given them an innate sense of what sounds right, coupled with an imagingation overactive enough for them to do something a bit original.  

I think you should be having more fun with music rather than working all this stuff out...Make melodies up and experiment with progressions and if you're interested (And want to make things MUCH esier for yourself!!!) then alongside that, get the theory book and teach yourself how harmony works.

[muso] Chord Progressions?
« Reply #5 on: May 19, 2004, 07:44:37 AM »
The trick is to play along with the best. And then keep going after the fade-out. It's really the only way to learn how that shit works.

[muso] Chord Progressions?
« Reply #6 on: May 19, 2004, 09:35:45 AM »
Gazeuse's suggestion about harmony can be illustrated by getting yourself some sheet music for either a four part choral or string quartet.

As each of the parts move along they form chord progressions as all four separate voices/instruments are heard as a single chord, apart from harmony one or more will also be the melody.

Great fun on a rainy day and not in the slightest bit dull.

Next you can tackle full orchestral scores.

Or abandon that in favour of becoming a dj and just being really good at cross fading.