#1
Okay, so I've read and learned everything in the Beginning Music Theory lesson. Where do I go now? (One thing I'm still unsure about is cadences and why good chord progressions have specific numbers, ie I-V-IV. Is there a theoretical way to know which chords in a progresssion go in which order? I already know that for the major it's I-Major, II-Min, III-Min, etc. But how is it possible to know which chord progressions will sound good?)
I'm that dude with the fro.
Quote by angus fan16
Long story short, a whale flew out of the ocean, landed next to me and shot like a wall of water straight into my face.
#2
Quote by Froboarder
Okay, so I've read and learned everything in the Beginning Music Theory lesson. Where do I go now? (One thing I'm still unsure about is cadences and why good chord progressions have specific numbers, ie I-V-IV. Is there a theoretical way to know which chords in a progresssion go in which order? I already know that for the major it's I-Major, II-Min, III-Min, etc. But how is it possible to know which chord progressions will sound good?)


Those roman numerals have nothing to do with "good" chord progressions. They are simply a way to label the chords built off of each scale step. What's good or not is up to you, the artist to decide.

Based on your statement I would highly recommend reviewing and make sure you truly understand the basics before moving on. It's better to understand a little, than to rush through and kinda know alot. And actually, I would recommend that you get a teacher, or take a class if you can.
Last edited by GuitarMunky at Feb 20, 2009,
#3
Quote by GuitarMunky
Those roman numerals have nothing to do with "good" chord progressions. They are simply a way to label the chords built off of each scale step. What's good or not is up to you, the artist to decide.

Based on your statement I would highly recommend reviewing and make sure you truly understand the basics before moving on. It's better to understand a little, than to rush through and kinda know alot. And actually, I would recommend that you get a teacher, or take a class if you can.

No, no, I haven't rushed through anything, I understand it very well. It's just sometimes I see people talking about a a certain progression and they'll label it is an odd progression or something. I'm just wondering how they already know that.
Just to be clear though, I am already quite comfortable with the basics.
I'm that dude with the fro.
Quote by angus fan16
Long story short, a whale flew out of the ocean, landed next to me and shot like a wall of water straight into my face.
#4
Quote by Froboarder
But how is it possible to know which chord progressions will sound good?)


there are a number of systems that people have derived for choosing the best chords in progressions... but i've found the best method is to just try and play what you want to hear, but bear in mind the basic concepts of chord theory. For example, the V chord is a very important chord in any key, as it is almost always involved in the resolution of the progression.

lots of people say you should think of the root chord as the beginning of your "journey" and the V chord as your destination, or at least having the V chord be the "climax" of the progression, leading back to the root or a leading tone to the root.

i'll stress that there is no absolute rule... especially when you start noticing how many songs borrow from parallel minor keys and how sometimes a chord that makes seemingly no sense in theory will sound perfect in some progressions.

just try playing what you want to hear. if a chord sounds like it's close to what you want, but not quite right, try adding a seventh of some kind, or try using it's minor or major equivalent. you never know what will work until you start trying everything.
#5
Quote by frigginjerk
there are a number of systems that people have derived for choosing the best chords in progressions... but i've found the best method is to just try and play what you want to hear, but bear in mind the basic concepts of chord theory. For example, the V chord is a very important chord in any key, as it is almost always involved in the resolution of the progression.

lots of people say you should think of the root chord as the beginning of your "journey" and the V chord as your destination, or at least having the V chord be the "climax" of the progression, leading back to the root or a leading tone to the root.

i'll stress that there is no absolute rule... especially when you start noticing how many songs borrow from parallel minor keys and how sometimes a chord that makes seemingly no sense in theory will sound perfect in some progressions.

just try playing what you want to hear. if a chord sounds like it's close to what you want, but not quite right, try adding a seventh of some kind, or try using it's minor or major equivalent. you never know what will work until you start trying everything.

I see. So I guess that these people I see analyzing the progression right off the bat have probably already played around with the chords?
I'm that dude with the fro.
Quote by angus fan16
Long story short, a whale flew out of the ocean, landed next to me and shot like a wall of water straight into my face.
#6
Quote by Froboarder
I see. So I guess that these people I see analyzing the progression right off the bat have probably already played around with the chords?


pretty much. once you've learned how the system works, and seen how so many songs are just the same thing, played a bit differently with different tones, you start to know what will work in a given situation.

plus, even if you aren't fully conscious of it, your ear will improve after years of playing, and continue improving as you play more and more.

but remember that you don't have to use weird / unique chord progression ideas every time. there are tons and tons of songs that follow the simple rules of keys without doing anything wacky in terms of theory.
Last edited by frigginjerk at Feb 20, 2009,
#7
Quote by frigginjerk
pretty much. once you've learned how the system works, and seen how so many songs are just the same thing, played a bit differently with different tones, you start to know what will work in a given situation.

plus, even if you aren't fully conscious of it, your ear will improve after years of playing, and continue improving as you play more and more.

but remember that you don't have to use weird / unique chord progression ideas every time. there are tons and tons of songs that follow the simple rules of keys without doing anything wacky in terms of theory.

Okay then, thanks for simplifying. =)
I'm that dude with the fro.
Quote by angus fan16
Long story short, a whale flew out of the ocean, landed next to me and shot like a wall of water straight into my face.
#8
Lots of chord progressions just come from what sounds good. I IV V sounds very good and is easy to solo to. There are a ton of songs that follow a I IV V chord progression. All you need to know is that I is major/major, ii is minor/minor..... Then you can make up songs really easy and just upgrade some chords here and there.
In jazz you have ii, V, I as one of the most popular chord progressions.
I, vi, ii, V is also very popular.
So just fiddle around and you can do anything you want. Thats what is so great about guitar. It is so free and there are guidelines(theory) but you can break them. Just play what you want to.
#9
there are sever "normal" types of progressions today. I'd like to expand beyond I-IV-V progressions and ii-V-I progression. In a major scale there are several chord categories the root= I subdominants= ii and IV, dominants= V and vii dim and the remaining ones go in the other category= iii and vi. A typical progression goes from root -> other -> subdominant -> dominant -> root. The dominant to root movement (e.g. V to I) is called a perfect authentic cadence. You can skip the other category to make root -> subdominant -> dominant -> root. This is the case with the rock progression I IV V and the jazz progression I ii V. The two progressions are similar because each chord in both progressions make the root -> subdominant -> dominant movement. Your ear is trained to expect chords to move in this fashion. Having this knowledge allows you to break the rules better by placing a different chord than what the ear is trained if you want to surprise listeners for a dramatic effect in a song.
#10
Too expand beyond I-IV-V you can throw in and "other" chord before the subdominant chord. Another thing you can use is what is called a "circle progression." These were popular during the baroque period and if you're an Yngwie fan I'd suggest you know this technique. What you do is start on the root of the major scale and each time you change chords descend a 5th or go up a 4th (they are both the same thing, but the movements have to be diatonic in other words within the scale) This would make the progression I -> IV -> vii dim -> iii -> vi -> ii -> V -> I. Notice how the progression ends V -> I which is a perfect authentic cadence. I would suggest learning about cadences (the last two chords of a progression) and the different kinds of cadences. I've only discussed perfect authentic cadences which have the strongest resolution. Different cadences resolve differently which affect the mood of the song and help break way from typical I IV V progressions.