#1
I just started fooling around with the c minor scale, playing different progressions etc, but really I have no direction when it comes to creating a mood with a progression. I've been told major chords are happy, minor=sad, dim=weird sounding...So if I want something sad do I only use 1/4/5 chords?

What if I wanted something more sinister, what are some guidelines I can follow to achieve this?

Last thing! I've been fooling around with the D diminished in c minor, because my piano teacher in HS always seemed to be able to manipulate them in interesting ways. But whenever I try to throw them into my progression, it sounds just terrible... Can someone please give me some examples (created or actual songs) that use it?

Any help is much appreciated.
#3
Learn the chord progressions from Comfortably Numb. That song is a good example of how a song's mood can "change" with a chord progression.
#4
Well, I think the diminished chords sound evil but that my opinion.
The 1 to 4 to 5 is the famous three chord trick and said musically it Tonic-subdominant-dominant(we again face theory ). I-IV-V it not the only thing that can make a progression tasteful. Try 1/5/6/4 or I-V-VI-IV or use your imagination
George Bernard Shaw


Hell is full of musical amateurs.
#5
It's going to be different for everyone, there isn't a sinister chord progression.
Quote by UtBDan
this man hits the nail on the head.
#6
Quote by flashmdg
just mess around and learn for yourself


Did you not read my post? I have been messing around, it isn't working.

I'll look at Comfortably Numb thanks, any examples of diminished use?
#7
Mmmm, songs like Stormy Weather have a dimished chord used in a major key context. Many jazz songs use dimished chords as a way of getting from one chord to another. Sort of as a stepping stone in the chord progression.

Pink Floyd love using both b5 chords and dimished chords. You can check out some T. Bone Walker songs, etc.

To be honest, I don't quite understand how to use dimished chords aside from the stepping stone format I described earlier.
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#8
Minor doesn't always equal sad, nor major and happy. Start analyzing some of your favorite songs. What makes them sound sad or happy changes throughout genres. You'll find that often times it's not just the progression but the vocal melody on top that really makes things sad or happy.
#9
In the grand scheme of things, the chord progression is very nearly irrelevant in determining the overall mood of the piece. What you're really asking is "How do I make my song sound the way I want it to?", which can be rephrased as "How can I be a good composer?". Do you really expect an answer on a forum to magically grant you compositional skill? Here's a tip: Start practicing.
Someones knowledge of guitar companies spelling determines what amps you can own. Really smart people can own things like Framus because they sound like they might be spelled with a "y" but they aren't.
#10
Quote by Archeo Avis
In the grand scheme of things, the chord progression is very nearly irrelevant in determining the overall mood of the piece. What you're really asking is "How do I make my song sound the way I want it to?", which can be rephrased as "How can I be a good composer?". Do you really expect an answer on a forum to magically grant you compositional skill? Here's a tip: Start practicing.


I am not expecting an answer to magically grant me compositional skill. I'm looking for someone who already has compositional skill to give me some tips so that I may practice more efficiently.

By the way, I loved your composition.
#11
I can't help you with the composition, but I can tell you:

The diminished chord comes from the harmonic minor scale
1 2 b3 4 5 b6 7
check the chords, the seventh is the diminished
#12
Quote by Kurai X
I can't help you with the composition, but I can tell you:

The diminished chord comes from the harmonic minor scale
1 2 b3 4 5 b6 7
check the chords, the seventh is the diminished


A dimished chord is a chord with a root - minor third, and dimished fifth interval, and they occur in alot of scales.
Quote by Zaphod_Beeblebr
Theory is descriptive, not prescriptive.


Quote by MiKe Hendryckz
theory states 1+1=2 sometimes in music 1+1=3.
#13
Quote by The_Sophist
A diminished chord is a chord with a root - minor third, and diminished fifth interval, and they occur in alot of scales.


Some people say "diminished chord" in reference to a dim7, and simply "diminished triad" for just the 1 b3 b5.
#14
Quote by Archeo Avis
In the grand scheme of things, the chord progression is very nearly irrelevant in determining the overall mood of the piece. What you're really asking is "How do I make my song sound the way I want it to?", which can be rephrased as "How can I be a good composer?". Do you really expect an answer on a forum to magically grant you compositional skill? Here's a tip: Start practicing.
He is right

Write a chord progression that is appropriate to your song. After all, the chord progression is far from the main focus of the song. If anything, the main melody is the main focus. It's what gets stuck in peoples head and stuff.

Diminished chords sound best when they're formed on the seventh degree (the B in C major, the G# in A minor) and will move best when moving to the chord a semitone above (the tonic). This creates a sort of cadence (imperfect authentic cadence) and can be used in substitution to a dominant chord. Generally, if the diminished chord is half diminished, you'll resolve this chord to a major chord. If a chord is full diminished, you'll resolve this chord to a minor chord. This is the simplest way to use a diminished chord.

If you're really good at your theory, you'll notice that full diminished chords can have a few (completely correct) names. For instance, B, D, F, Ab could be Bdim, Ddim, Fdim, Abdim. You can use this to your advantage, since such a chord could resolve to Cminor, Ebminor, Gbminor or Bbminor.
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#15
try using different rhythms and tempos, that seems to be ur main problem.

slowdown a few different chord progs and see what happens.

Quote by AlexRB
Did you not read my post? I have been messing around, it isn't working


the fact that ur asking this question is proof that u haven't been "messing around".
*reported*... twice in one reply!


OH NOES!!! Theowy is scawY!!!
#17
I meant dim7
1 b3 b5 bb7

and that one only happens in the harmonic minor scale, right?
yeah the diminished triad is even on the major scale, though that chord would be half-diminished. That's why when I hear diminished chord I think full-diminished
#18
Quote by Eastwinn
Minor doesn't always equal sad, nor major and happy. Start analyzing some of your favorite songs. What makes them sound sad or happy changes throughout genres. You'll find that often times it's not just the progression but the vocal melody on top that really makes things sad or happy.

I agree. I think its the melody that tends to tell a story and certain melodies invoke certain feelings. Unfortunately few are great enough songwriters to really capture the mood with a melody.
#19
take for example the chord prog. on the intro of "forbidden city" by marty friedman.
the chords are Bm\Emadd9\G6\Asus2.
it sounds sad and mysterious at the same time.
it really sets the mood of the song (until dist. guitars kick in)
#20
Quote by Kurai X
I meant dim7
1 b3 b5 bb7

and that one only happens in the harmonic minor scale, right?
yeah the diminished triad is even on the major scale, though that chord would be half-diminished. That's why when I hear diminished chord I think full-diminished
Theoretically yes. But you're not meant to write songs so that they're theoretically correct.
I'm sure you could use a full-diminished chord instead of a half-diminished chord. I personally don't think it sounds as great, but it's your song.
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[U]        |/     .-.              [/U]
[U]       /|_     `-’       |      [/U]
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      *-|-*    (_)     `-’
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        L.
#22
I hear that from Jake Shimabakenbooker or whatever his names is. I've always read that the key doesn't matter, it's the intervals.
Quote by Zaphod_Beeblebr
Theory is descriptive, not prescriptive.


Quote by MiKe Hendryckz
theory states 1+1=2 sometimes in music 1+1=3.
#23
Just start messing around.

If you don't feel it, you need to listen better.

Don't listen with ur hands or based on muscle memory, but on ear.

Just sit down for hours and listen closely to how it makes you feel, when you change from chord to chord.

Learn some chord building theory, and intervals, to get inspired by different chords, and to lead you in a direction.

Still, my first advice stands, listen closely to what you play.

A lot of people that listen to music, listen to music with their ear, and thus judge ur song 100% based on it's sound.

So it's only logical, that you should be able to write based on that.

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Last edited by xxdarrenxx at Jun 29, 2009,
#24
Personally I find it easier to put chords together in a row, then decide if it has a mood that fits my song.

As for diminished chords, I personally like using them to resolve back into the root note - ie if a song is roughly in the key of C minor, the last chord in the progression would be a B diminished. It not only leads up into the root, but the dissonance creates tension that's released when you return to the root note.
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Last edited by whalepudding at Jun 29, 2009,
#25
IMO, the mood's more in the timing than the chords (in the backing progression, anyway). If you're playing a lively rhythm, it'll sound just that, if you're playing more slowly, it's not going to have as much energy to it. The mood of the sound itself comes from the melody interacting with the chord progression, how they meld/clash/whatever else- a non-chord tone will create some tension (depends on the note though, tbh), while extending the chord (eg: playing B over a C major chord extends the chord to a M7 chord) or playing a note that's already in the chord will sound more relaxed and consonant. Hence why running up arpeggios is such a "safe" move when improvising- it's all cool with the chords underneath.