#1
Are chord progressions used in most (good) songs (i.e.: most/all "successful" songs)? Do professional musicians deviate away from chord progressions when creating songs?

Also, how does one choose which scale fits well over certain chords? I have some basic music theory so I understand somewhat the relation of notes and scales, etc.
#2
Quote by davedavedave1
Are chord progressions used in most (good) songs (i.e.: most/all "successful" songs)?


Almost in every song there's a progression.

Quote by davedavedave1

Do professional musicians deviate away from chord progressions when creating songs?


Yes, it happens all the time. A few progressions are purely diatonic.

Quote by davedavedave1

Also, how does one choose which scale fits well over certain chords? I have some basic music theory so I understand somewhat the relation of notes and scales, etc.


Figure out the key or tonal center of a song. Most of the times you can play one certain scale over the whole song. If a song for example is in A minor, you can easily play A minor pentatonic, A pentatonic blues or A natural minor. Sometimes there are borrowed chords so you have to be careful with certain notes. You can dodge these with altering the scale by using accidentals.
#3
Quote by davedavedave1
Are chord progressions used in most (good) songs (i.e.: most/all "successful" songs)? Do professional musicians deviate away from chord progressions when creating songs?

Chord progressions can be deliberate or they can be there anyway. A lot of songs may not have been written with a chord progression in mind, but you can analyse them as if they have a chord progression. An example of this are single lined melodies, which usually outline a chord progression.

But single-lined songs are rare in contemporary rock and stuff, so most songs are written with a chord progression in mind. Even if you just copy a chord progression (no shame in that), you're still writing with a chord progression in mind.

Quote by davedavedave1
Also, how does one choose which scale fits well over certain chords? I have some basic music theory so I understand somewhat the relation of notes and scales, etc.


It's called harmonising a scale. I wish I could say I do it often, but usually I just remember I ii iii IV V7 vi vii0. This means the first chord of the scale is major (C in C major), the next chord is minor (due to the lower case), then another minor chord (E in C major), then major, then dominate (G major in C major is usually a dominate seventh chord) then minor again and then, lastly diminished.

I'm a nerd, so I just remembered the formula. Sorry In couldn't be helpful.

Anyway, a lot of chord progression will only use I and V and some other chord that sounds nice between I and V (usually vi, IV or ii). Find a scale, find out what these chords are and you have a tasty progression. Remember, your song isn't the chord progression. The chord progression is just there to hold up the rest of the song. The thing that gives your song individuality is the melody the chord progression holds up.

Don't get fancy on chord progressions if you're new to writing.
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