#1
I know it's really in the "eye of the beholder" because everyone has different tastes, but is it just the same with basic notes? Meaning that if I follow, modify, and manipulate scales, it'll work out? I've just starting learning theory so I'm just making sure

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#2
I know a basic progression of any key your in is take the key your in, and make that your starting chord. So, in the key of C, the C chord is your first (I) chord. Then move up a fourth from that, so C-D-E-F, so F is your fourth (IV) chord. Then up to a fifth from the root chord, so a G chord is your fifth (V) chord. Then go back to the C chord again (I).
This is called a I-IV-V-I progression, and it's the basic one for many songs. It gets funky in different kyes with accidentals and key changes, but thats the basic setup
#3
It's all about the actual progression of sound and qualities of chords, and then the ultimate resolution (or lack thereof). There are some progressions that will just sound BAD no matter what you play under them (aka free form jazz!)
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#4
Well, what would do with the I-IV-V-I method if you used a chord like B minor or A minor?

And to Sid, right. It's obvious that throwing random ass chords together and hoping for the best won't yield the best results.
Thanks for this guys
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#5
Simplicity.

There is a reason so many songs follow similar progressions.

'Character' can come from finding a unique voicing of the root chord...this is the success to the sound of a band like CCR and their E7 on the 7th fret....or Jimi Hendrix in Purple Haze and his E'something' also on the 7th Fret..... Rolling Stones and their Dminor in 'Paint it Black'... then back to more familiar positions.

Throw in no more than one unique element to a rhythm or melody. Again...some creativity in 'Hotel California...then back to familiar progressions such as G, D, Em,etc. The listener needs to feel a resolution

You know a movie is over when the guy kisses the girl or the cowboy rides off into the sunset...it's the same with a song.
Last edited by Raptorfingers at Aug 13, 2010,
#6
you're pretty much on the right track... just remember that you can also break the rules on purpose if it makes for an interesting sound.

imho, what makes a chord progression "good" is when it meets the following criteria:

1. Each chord must progress to the next without extreme dissonance... tension is fine, but too much dissonance makes a chord progression sound "wrong"

2. The progression must resolve at some point, even if it's extremely long, and you should be able to repeat the progression infinitely without an awkward feel at the point where it starts over.

3. Should involve at least 2 distinct chords. This may go without saying, but i don't consider it to be a progression when you play an Am to an Am7... that's more of a riff or a vamp... and or course, each chord must contain at least 2 notes, for the same reason; a single G chord followed by a single-note melody that goes to other scale degrees isn't really a progression on it's own... it needs a second full chord.

but in terms of the sound and the rhythm and the pacing and the time signature, etc.... there's no rules, and you shouldn't write to rule for those concepts... use theory to narrow your choices of chords to those that won't cause unpleasant dissonance, and then do whatever.
#7
The I-IV-V-I method is very popular, and pretty much guaranteed to sound good. Another good way is using a circle of 5ths.
Start on your I chord, say C and take the 5th note, in the C major chord, this is G. Now take the 5th of G, which is D (which the chord in this case is a minor) to get A. If you keep doing this you will get a 7 chord progression which will flow smoothly. However, for most things you'll probably want something shorter, so just go for the first 4 or something. Its most commonly used in jazz i believe

So for the key of C it is C-G-D-A-E-B-F
or I-V-ii-vi-iii-vii''-IV (where '' is supposed to mean diminished)

i know this isnt explained well but im really tired. im pretty sure theres a lesson on it, and its definately on wikipedia

there is also a circle of fourths too, which is the same idea
#8
Quote by l3vity
The I-IV-V-I method is very popular, and pretty much guaranteed to sound good. Another good way is using a circle of 5ths.
Start on your I chord, say C and take the 5th note, in the C major chord, this is G. Now take the 5th of G, which is D (which the chord in this case is a minor) to get A. If you keep doing this you will get a 7 chord progression which will flow smoothly. However, for most things you'll probably want something shorter, so just go for the first 4 or something. Its most commonly used in jazz i believe

So for the key of C it is C-G-D-A-E-B-F
or I-V-ii-vi-iii-vii''-IV (where '' is supposed to mean diminished)

I know this isnt explained well but im really tired. im pretty sure theres a lesson on it, and its definately on wikipedia

there is also a circle of fourths too, which is the same idea


I learned 'the circle of 5ths' forty years ago and still have never used it. It's a bit of a joke among a lot of musicians... one of those 'tools' that is more of a pain to try and wade through than just figuring out a 1, 1V,V progression or whatever.

When you want to slice a tomato you can get out a knife and 'zip' finished...or you can get out the the fancy 'kitchen magician' machine (the circle of 5ths)...assemble it...plug it in...read the instructions and cut your tomato. Easier just to use the knife.
Last edited by Raptorfingers at Aug 14, 2010,
#9
This stuff is great... I'm finally starting to delve into theory after 4 years of mucking about and have been wondering about chord progressions lately.

What other kinds of progressions are there other than I IV V and circle of 5ths?