#1
Hello guys I am going to be starting on my first song with my guitar but would like a few questions asked first if that is okay. I have a grid showing me all of the different keys and I was wondering why the 4th and 5th chords on the grid are highlighted aswell as the beginning root note. Does that mean I need to use the 4th or 5th chords in my song? Secondly I was wondering if power chords can be used in the same situations as normal chords seeing as you can get a C chord and a C power chord. I was also wondering how chord progressions change without too much difference? You know like when the instrumental goes from a verse to a chorus or from a chorus to a break down or something? Another thing is I am going to be playing in drop D so does that mean I can only play in certain keys? And should I play chords in different places/positions seeing as the notes are going to be in different places? I guess I just needs few hints and pointers thank you for your time if you try and help me
Last edited by ltaggy123 at Apr 7, 2014,
#2
Quote by ltaggy123
Hello guys I am going to be starting on my first song with my guitar but would like a few questions asked first if that is okay. I have a grid showing me all of the different keys and I was wondering why the 4th and 5th chords on the grid are highlighted aswell as the beginning root note. Does that mean I need to use the 4th or 5th chords in my song?

I'm think it's probably showing you which chords are major in that particular key. For example, if you're playing in the key of C, chords based around the root (C), as well as the 4th and 5th (F and G respectively) will generally be major chords. While the 2nd, 3rd, and 6th (D, E, A) will generally be minor, and the 7th (B) will generally be diminished.
Quote by ltaggy123
Secondly I was wondering if power chords can be used in the same situations as normal chords seeing as you can get a C chord and a C power chord.

Absolutely. You can use any combination of chords with any combination of notes, even if they aren't in the parent scale. Learning theory and looking at writing from a somewhat analytical view is a good idea, but what matters more is how it sounds.
Quote by ltaggy123
I was also wondering how chord progressions change without too much difference? You know like when the instrumental goes from a verse to a chorus or from a chorus to a break down or something?

There are several different answers to this. The chords may not change at all, just the strumming patter will be different. Or it may be as extreme as completely changing the key of the song. Again, what matters most is how it sounds.
Quote by ltaggy123
Another thing is I am going to be playing in drop D so does that mean I can only play in certain keys?

No. You can still play in any key. The only difference will be that the notes of the low E will be 2 frets higher than where they would be in standard tuning.
Quote by ltaggy123
And should I play chords in different places/positions seeing as the notes are going to be in different places? I guess I just needs few hints and pointers thank you for your time if you try and help me

It will depend on context and also how it sounds. If you're playing up near the 12th fret, it might be easier to play a C chord like this:

e|-12-
B|-13-
G|-12-
D|-10-
A|----
E|----

instead of moving your hand back down to make an open C. But, you may have to find some alternatives also if it doesn't sound right to you.
Quote by Geldin
Junior's usually at least a little terse, but he knows his stuff. I've always read his posts in a grouchy grandfather voice, a grouchy grandfather with a huge stiffy for alternate picking.
Besides that, he's right this time. As usual.
#3
Quote by ltaggy123
I was also wondering how chord progressions change without too much difference?


I believe the way you do this relies, in part, on understanding the relationship between the last chord of the first progression (for example, verse progression) and the first chord of the next progression (for example, chorus progression).

Thus, G is the dominant of C. And a move from G major to C major will generally sound very smooth. So you can have your verse progression end on G major and then your chorus progression start on C and that'll tend to make it smooth. There are other sequences that will sound smooth. If your last three chords are C - D - Em, then an F might sound good starting the next progression because it sort of keeps this ascending thing going on. Well, it would take too long to give you every way this can be done. The point is, keep in mind the last chord of first progression & first chord of next progression to make it smooth.

However, you may still get an unpleasant jar if the keys of your two progressions do not work together well. I mean, you could have a progression in G major that ends on G major and then you start the next progression in F major, like playing C major then Bb major then F major. And that may sound bad because the change in keys is too obvious or jarring.

Some song writers do not worry so much about the verse leading smoothly to chorus or vice versa because they can write in a bridge -- a progression that will take up smoothly from where the first progression ends and then end in a way that leads smoothly to the next progression.

Lastly, I never really consciously think about this stuff. If I play a chord progression I found that I like, like for a verse of a song, and do that over and over, then at some point I'll just let my subconscious and/or ear direct me to a different sequence that feels like it makes sense in relation to the first progression. I think the more you improvise and song-write, the better you get at this. So you can have a verse and chorus progression where you use a dominant transition (e.g., from G to C) between them so that should be smooth, and you stay in the same key, so that should be smooth, and it STILL does not work, just because the progressions are not really complementary or musically related. I'm not sure there's a shortcut to learning this aspect of song-writing.

When in doubt, just stay with the same progression in verse & chorus when you start songwriting, maybe make a small change like substitute a major for relative minor chord, or just change up the strum pattern or bpm. Most hits in popular music do this.

Ken
Bernie Sanders for President!