#1
I know how to harmonize any given scale with chords, but when I try to make a progression with those chords, its so boring. I don't know which to use with each other and its all just bleh, they're quite lame. What can i do to spice them up? I know about tossing the odd sus chord in to liven it up but still there must be more..
#2
Spice it up by altering your strum pattern. Playing a strum pattern using up-down-up-down technique is quite boring, but if you kick it up a notch by altering the strum pattern, it suddenly become more alive. You can also try doing some muted strums - you know, where you lightly touch the strings with your left hand and then strum? It gives a nice perscussive sound that can really add life to a dead chord progression.

Edit: Earlier, I mentioned that you should lightly fret the strings for a muted strum. That may've given the wrong idea of the technique. Lightly touch the strings, just enough to mute them and then strum. This is the technique we want.
Last edited by KG6_Steven at Jul 10, 2010,
#4
Quote by DiminishedFifth
Learn about proper voiceleading techniques and writing for 4 voices. Helped me a shit-ton in making progressions sound interesting.



That sounds like the basis for an article I'd like to read on U-G.
#5
Quote by KG6_Steven
That sounds like the basis for an article I'd like to read on U-G.

http://www.dangutwein.net/courses/theorytxt/text/4-part.htm

I just skimmed over it, but it seems to know what it's talking about.

Things you need to know before going in: how to read sheet music, how to form triads.
#6
Quote by Lollage123
I know how to harmonize any given scale with chords, but when I try to make a progression with those chords, its so boring. I don't know which to use with each other and its all just bleh, they're quite lame. What can i do to spice them up? I know about tossing the odd sus chord in to liven it up but still there must be more..
You don't HAVE to use diatonic chords. You could have more chords out of key than in key if you wanted to.

I suggest you learn about chord substitutions (including borrowed chords). You know that C major contains C Dm Em F G Am B°, but you should also know that C minor contains Cm D° Eb Fm Gm Ab Bb. That gives you a slew of new chords to add to your major key. Some may be more usable than others, but they're all possibilities.

To learn about chord substitutions (at least to start yourself out) I suggest you read through this wikipedia article, it has some good info: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chord_substitution

Also another way to spice up chord progressions while remaining diatonic is to use 7ths, 6ths, and extended chords. One of the essentials of jazz is a ii V I progression/turnaround, but you rarely hear a jazz song that goes Dm G C. Extend those to 7ths (Dm7 G7 Cmaj7) and it starts to sound jazzy. Extend them further (Dm11 G13 Cmaj9) and you get some really cool jazzy sounding stuff. Of course, you don't always have to use strictly tertian harmony. Sometimes 6 chords and other stuff like that (6/9 chords, sus chords or even add chords) sound really good. I always like doing some stuff that uses notes that carry over, such as Am6 D9 G6 (or Gmaj13 or something). These chords have a lot of notes in common. I like voicing them like this:

A F# C E
D F# C E
G F# B E (or you could give it a suspended sound by making it G F# C E, which you could either look at as 1 7 4 13 or 1 7 11 13)
Only play what you hear. If you don’t hear anything, don’t play anything.
-Chick Corea
#7
Before you learn about anything else learn how to use inversions with basic triads and chord V7, seriously you can write amazing sounding progressions using just chords I IV and V if your clever with inversions. Then learn about secondary sevenths and apply the inversions knowledge to those.

Then learn about suspensions/passing notes and other notes of decoration.
#8
You can always try to alternate them with single line runs. Like 4 bar chord, 4 bar single note stuff, and so on.
#9
from food 1010: "...Sometimes 6 chords and other stuff like that (6/9 chords, sus chords or even add chords) sound really good. I always like doing some stuff that uses notes that carry over, such as Am6 D9 G6 (or Gmaj13 or something). These chords have a lot of notes in common..."

food knows his harmony...

yep...pentatonic scales like the minor 6/9 produce some very cool chords...
Emi6/9 - E F# G B C# .. lots of common notes with A7 structures that can be used in straight ahead blues or jazz flavored progressions

three easy but effective chords that come from the scale starting on the 7th position

E G C#---F# B E--G C# F#
7..5..6....9...9..9...5..6...7

try resolving to a D7 or D9 from them..there are 5 more chords you can form at this position as well..that are very effective

look around there are many cool chords inside of simple scales

play well

wolf
Last edited by wolflen at Jul 11, 2010,
#10
Quote by Lollage123
I know how to harmonize any given scale with chords, but when I try to make a progression with those chords, its so boring. I don't know which to use with each other and its all just bleh, they're quite lame. What can i do to spice them up? I know about tossing the odd sus chord in to liven it up but still there must be more..


how much experience do you have as a guitarist?

like how many songs have you learned all the way through.... memorized?

learning more chords or fancier words isn't going to solve your problem as stated. I mean you just learned to harmonize "any given scale with chords"..... and your struggling with???? ... making music with it right? Learning fancier chords and/or theoretical concepts will keep you in the same boat because it ignores the actual issue.


A musical malady is best cured by a musical prescription.

the prescription (IMO)......


focus on music.... spend some quality time dealing with the materials in context.
shred is gaudy music
Last edited by GuitarMunky at Jul 11, 2010,