So lets say you start you root or bass notes in your progression in the key of D that goes D B A G A:

You use this scale: D E F# G A B C# D right

K, then you move your second down to B of the progression

Now can you work within the key of D still or can you now work with the notes in the scale of B as well: B C# D# E F# G# A# B?

And so on and so forth for each root or bass note of the progression?

I'm not sure if this is making much sense...

Please let me know how you go about working your writing process when you come up with progressions.

I seem to get stuck in my writing process.
Last edited by xNinniox at Apr 7, 2011,
I'm not 100% sure I get what you're saying, but if you're playing in Dmajor and then you move to B as the bass note, you might be playing Bmimor? Bminor being the 6th chord in Dmajor. In which case, yeah you can play Dmajor or Bminor as they hold the same notes.

But if you are playing implying Dmajor and then Bmajor then you can play the Bmajor scales. It's kinda, chord-tone soloing. Just I'd stay mainly on the actual notes in the chords to avoid too much clashing.

When I write stuff, I find it easiest to start with the melody. I'll be in the shower or out somewhere and suddenly this tune'll pop into my head and I'll end up recording it on my phone or something, getting home, notating it down and then working chords after that.

Not sure if that helps in anyway, but hopefully it does?

If you're harmonizing those bass notes (i.e. building chords on them) diatonically (which means, roughly, in key), then you're going to stick to the key signature of D major (two sharps, or D E F# G A B C#).

You have your bassline, D B A G A. Let's first say that you want these bass notes to be the root notes of chords. You would take these bass notes and build up in thirds (i.e. every other note) within the key signature.

D F# A (D major)
B D F# (B minor)
A C# E (A major)
G B D (G major)
A C# E (A major)

But, you could use inversions (meaning the bass note is not the root note of the chord), which would give you more options for harmonizing that bassline.

Within the key signature of D, you have a few options for harmonizing a D: A D major chord (D F# A), a B minor chord (B D F#), or a G major chord (G B D). For B: B minor (B D F#), G major (G B D) or E minor (E G B). For A: A major (A C# E), F# minor (F# A C#), or D major (D F# A). And finally, for G: G major (G B D), E minor (E G B) or C# diminished (C# E G), which will be pretty dissonant.

That should get you started with harmonizing.
Only play what you hear. If you don’t hear anything, don’t play anything.
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