#1
I just wrote a song for my band, and I realised the guitars play literally no chords in the whole song - just riffs layered over each other. Is this a problem?
#2
i'm no expert but if one riff is played in A something, and the next in C something, followed by one in E something, i guess your chord progression would be A C E

can you give some more information? how do you play it? (power chords, single notes, ...)
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#3
No.
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#5
chord progressions - like everything in music theory - serves to explain what's happening in a song.
And I think that someone with enough knowledge of theory will be able to find a chord progression in your song too, if he/she would analyse it.


When writing music there are no rules.
#6
A chord progression will most likely be implied by your note choice and their relationships within in each respective bar, so it's most definitely not a problem and is in fact a completely valid option for composing.

However, I would highly recommend keeping an open ear and tampering with finding which chords are those that are implied by your riffs, as a means to strengthen your recognition of note relationships and benefit your overall musicianship.
Looking out for small groups of notes (maybe a bar's worth, or even a beat's worth, depending on whereabouts the root note or perceived harmony changes) and name them, deriving potential chords. This is one of simplest - and a very effective - method of achieving the results I've talked briefly about above, and it can present you with a wealth of experience and ideas for future projects.

#8
It can always be implied.


I often make arrangements of songs in various styles from metal to jazz to pop etc. for acoustic guitar, and I can almost always find a (implied) chord progression.

Especially if the melody "feels" strong in a song, then their is almost always a (strong) harmony implied.


With metal riffs, often the open E chugging suggest E minor (or major).

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Last edited by xxdarrenxx at Oct 8, 2011,
#9
Quote by userlastname
I just wrote a song for my band, and I realised the guitars play literally no chords in the whole song - just riffs layered over each other. Is this a problem?


In most riff-based songs, although certainly not all, there's an underlying chord structure implied by the notes of the riff.

Bass players tend to be very good at implying a chord structure from a series of notes.
#10
Quote by userlastname
I just wrote a song for my band, and I realised the guitars play literally no chords in the whole song - just riffs layered over each other. Is this a problem?


Do you like how it sounds?

and if the answer is yes, what would make you think that there is any kind of problem?
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#11
There are rules in music. But they are so complicated, taht you have to be a physics professor, so, trust your ears. If it sound good, there is no problem.
#12
Quote by cemges
There are rules in music. But they are so complicated, taht you have to be a physics professor, so, trust your ears. If it sound good, there is no problem.

There are no rules. Only suggestions, albeit suggestions made by thousands of composers over hundreds of years.
#13
I hate it when you break a rule and the great gods of music toss a lightning bolt down and blast you to a hell of listening to "The Village People" for all eternity.

Seriously, music theory is not super complicated and it is about sound. If you like the sound, chances are other people will as well.
#14
Basically what everyone has said should be enough. A deliberate chord progression is not necessary. However, if you were ever to set out on the quest of writing something, knowledge of music theory would assist you in finding a chord progression that you like. This is going to be faster than randomly playing chords and hoping they fit or seeing if you like them. It's a lot like how you can guess and check for the length of the third side of a right triangle, but if you have the Pythagorean Theorum available, why wouldn't you use it?

Of course, just like that example, you're free to do things however you want. What if you can't memorize the theorum? What if you never learned it? Then whatever gets you to an end product is a valid method.

And people have a misconception about music theory. Music Theory isn't rules set in place that dictate how songs should be written. Music Theory is a lot like science. It's based on the observations. People throughout various eras who have analyzed music and found commonalities between compositions and named them and found that they work.

Consider music theory to be like the manual you get. You don't need it, and you can use your product without the manual, but it'd be a lot easier if you did.

tl;dr - Music theory is helpful, and on the topic of the original poster, a chord progression is going to inherently be in your song. There will be an implied progression if you're playing layered notes. As long as there is more than one note being played, there will be a chord. As long as there is a chord succeeding another, there will be a progression.
#16
Quote by mastermoo420
tl;dr - Music theory is helpful, and on the topic of the original poster, a chord progression is going to inherently be in your song. There will be an implied progression if you're playing layered notes. As long as there is more than one note being played, there will be a chord. As long as there is a chord succeeding another, there will be a progression.


Although there are powerchord riffs which would suit a melodic analysis better than a chord progression treatment.
#17
There's no rules. If it sounds good then it is.
Not exactly a frequent poster.
#18
Look like I have to call the music police again.

...modes and scales are still useless.


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#19
Like pretty much everyone here already said, a chord progression is usually implied by the notes and chords used within the riff. I find, personally, that the bass tends to define this progression in some cases.
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#21
Quote by technoguyx
I find, personally, that the bass tends to define this progression in some cases.



+1