#1
Hi.
I was just wondering, how do you spice up a chord progression? As for an easy example: Cmaj-Gmaj-Amin-Fmaj. How do you "spice" this up? Any tips, other than a complex strumming pattern, or play them arpeggiated? I know some theory (as how a dominant chord is build up, diffrence between dom7 and maj7 etc...), but im mostly a prog/metal player, so i dont do stuff like this so often. Please help me out, most of you probably know more about this than me. x) Hope you understood me!
PS: How do i know if i put a sus 4 or sus 2 chord there?
Last edited by Usernames sucks at Apr 1, 2011,
#2
Use voice leading, just play around with chord extensions and see which ones give you the best sense of motion within the progression...certain intervals will suggest the next chord.

Learn some Beatles stuff, they were masters of it...or if you're feeling brave, The Carpenters. You may scoff, but you'll learn a hell of a lot from studying one of their songs.
Actually called Mark!

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#3
in a sus4-chord you move the major third a half step up, and in sus2-chord you move the minor third a half step down.
I guess that's the easiest way of explaining your bonus question.

Simply finding new voicings for the chords will spice them up. I'm not going to tell you anymore, google the rest.
#4
Yeah, as far as "when" to use a sus4 or a sus2, ths simple answer is "when you want that sound".

Have a look at this Justin Guitar lesson on Stairway to Heaven

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VSAsFPjekws&feature=related

that little bit before the solo switches between Dmaj, Dsus2 and D us4 - that's just one example of how you might want to use those particular chords. One think you should pick up on is what I was talking about before, that sense of movement in the chords. He's only changing one note at a time but it makes that short sequence so much more dynamic than if it was just straight Dmaj chords.

For other chords the principle is the same, using additional tones to drive the progression along and keep things moving along to the next chord. Even just adding one tone on the last beat of a chord can completely transform a progression.
Actually called Mark!

Quote by TNfootballfan62
People with a duck for their avatar always give good advice.

...it's a seagull

Quote by Dave_Mc
i wanna see a clip of a recto buying some groceries.


stuffmycatswatchontv.tumblr.com
#6
For your progression try altering the chords some times:

For Example
CM7 Gadd11 Asus2 Am7 F7th
|--0-----3-------0-------3-----1------
|--0-----1-------0-------1-----1------
|--0-----0-------2-------2-----2------
|--2-----0-------2-------2-----1------
|--3-----2-------0-------0-----3------
|---------3----------------------1------

I Like to appegiate stuff like this or play it in 'swing' time.

Just prat around with adding or taking away notes.
#7
The most obvious choice to me would be Cmaj7 G7 Am7 Fmaj7.

Really, you could make any one of those a sus2 or a sus4, as long as it feels right. Be careful with using an Fsus4 though, because it uses an accidental. There's certainly nothing wrong with it, but you should just be aware of it.
Only play what you hear. If you don’t hear anything, don’t play anything.
-Chick Corea
#8
Chord substitution.

Some suggested areas of research would be
Common tone chord substitution
diatonic chord substitution (chord families)
Direct Chord Substitution

Also as Steven Seagull suggested learn how voice leading works. When you understand voice leading it will help you understand how certain chord substitutions will work when preceded or followed by other chords.
Si