#1
Hello there.

So, I've been thinking a lot lately on how to make interesting chord progressions for my songs, I got some interesting stuff and I would like to know what you think of these progressions that I got now and how can I improve them.

Progression 1:

e|------------------------------------------------|
B|------------------------------------------------|
G|------------------------------------------------|
D|-2-------------------------------2-------------|
A|-0---0---2---3---5---3---2---0---5---3----|
E|------1---1---1---3---3---3-------3---1----|

That would be A5, F5 with some variations, G5 with some variations, then A5, G5, F5. I'm using this progression for some kind of melodeath song.

Progression 2:

e|-----------------------------------------------|----------------------------------|
B|-----------------------------------------------|----------------------------------|
G|-----------------------------------------------|----------------------------------|
D|------4---5---2---0-------4-----------------|-2---0--------2---5---4---7---|
A|-2---2---3---3---3---2---2---5---5---5---|-3---3---5---3---3---3---3---|
E|-0----------------------0-------3---2---3---|-----------3---------------------|

So this is the main progression for a black metal song, it's kind of melodic and epic.

So, any improvements that I can make to these progressions, any opinion? Anything would be helpful.
How does this thing Works ??!?!
#2
It's more of a riff than a chord progression. Technically since a chord consists of at least three tones there aren't even any chords here. You also can't really have any variations on a power chord other than an inversion if you want to argue that that is a variation. You're simply going from one dyad to the next and the next after that and doing some pedal tone stuff. That's it really.
There's no such thing; there never was. Where I am going you cannot follow me now.
#3
Even though these are technically dyads and not chords, the harmonies imply what the chords would be, and those chords can be viewed as progressions. I like the sound of both and I think you have a good ear. Do you know how to convert what you have into something another guitarist or bass player would recognize, like this?

1]
Am - F - F(#5) - F
G - G - G - Dm - G - F

2]
Em - Emsus2 - C - C - Csus2
Em - Emsus2 - G - D/F# - G
C - Csus2 - Am
C - C - Cb5 - C6
Quote by reverb66
I'm pretty sure the Bible requires that you play through a tube amp in Texas.
#4
I would suggest learning about chord functions if you want to understand what's happening in chord progressions. Both of your riffs seem to be centered around the minor key I and VI chords.

How to improve them? Well, is there something you don't like about them? If not, I don't see a reason to "improve" them. But for example if they sound "too generic" or whatever to your ears, find out what sounds "too generic" about them and do something about it (just an example - I'm not saying it sounds "too generic"). Use your ears. There is no "right" and "wrong" when it comes to writing chord progressions. Do what sounds good to your ears.

Also, I don't think chord progressions on their own can be improved. But if you have a melody that you are trying to harmonize, it is possible to improve your harmonization. There are no "good" or "bad" chord progressions on their own. It has everything to do with context.
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

Gear

Bach Stradivarius 37G
Charvel So Cal
Fender Dimension Bass
Hartke HyDrive 210c
Ibanez BL70
Laney VC30
Tokai TB48
Yamaha FG720S-12
Yamaha P115
#5
You've covered most of A Aeolian.  And it sounds good (the connection from one pair top the next pair is smooth) 

For bit more flavour, you could try hinting at A Harmonic Minor using its V chord (E major, or E7, or E7b9  ...)

 e|------------------------------------------------|
B|------------------------------------------------|
G|------------------------------------------------|
D|-2-------------------------------    2-------------|
A|-0---0---2---3---5---3---2-- 2- 0----|
E|------1---1---1---3---3---3- -4------| 

Just before the return to A5 is a fragment of E major triad.

But this could be developed so many different ways .... rhythmically, accompanying harmony ...
Last edited by jerrykramskoy at Jun 22, 2017,
#6
Quote by PlusPaul
Do you know how to convert what you have into something another guitarist or bass player would recognize, like this?

1]
Am - F - F(#5) - F
G - G - G - Dm - G - F

2]
Em - Emsus2 - C - C - Csus2
Em - Emsus2 - G - D/F# - G
C - Csus2 - Am
C - C - Cb5 - C6


Wouldn't that imply that tablature is a form that guitarists or bassists don't understand? Literally no reason to replace the tablature with a list of chord names. In fact, listing the chord names is worse. Saying that you have an Am-F-etc in the first riff is erroneous because, despite the fact that the is likely the implied harmony, it is still not what is actually played. If you tell a guitar player to play Am they will likely voice a proper Am, whether x02210 or 577555 or whatever they prefer which is not what is intended.

Instead, by presenting it in tablature he is very concisely indicating precisely what should be played. If this were jazz or country or something, the exact voicing of the chord doesn't need to be so specific as long as it properly provides the essential notes to the harmony such as 1, 3, b7, and 9 for a 9th chord and there is room for experimenting to find an optimal set of chord voicing for range and voice leading, but in metal that sounds imply isn't the case and there is no room to be playing around with chord voicings.

Especially when you get to calling x37xxx a C6. If you tell someone to play a C6, they're going to play a 6 chord and not a 6th dyad and a C6 would be completely wrong. Not to mention that s C6 chord would sound like trash with heavy distortion. In fact, in that sequence of notes, the function of the higher notes is not at all to imply harmony but rather it is simply a static root note with a series of passing tones moved over the root notes, which is a very common fixture of black metal.
There's no such thing; there never was. Where I am going you cannot follow me now.
#7
PlusPaul

F-B is #4; F-Cb is b5
Suspensions can imply major or minor but are neither major nor minor in themselves; "msus[#]" is a paradox.
theogonia777
Tbf, writing down basic chords can be useful for other instruments, albeit more on the second level rather than the first.
----
Writing the entire score for all instruments might be more useful if it goes to that level of description, considering that (for example) Joni Mitchell let Jaco Pastorius do his own thing and build on the guitar parts already done. Different genre, but there are a lot of ways to describe and analyze one instrument's parts, and some of them are more restrictive than others.

Necroheadbanger, try the CODE tags, which will give your guitar tabs monospace fonts automatically, like in Notepad's basic settings

I can't tell what you're doing rhythmically from tab, but oftentimes the combination of instruments and parts can elaborate or enhance riffs.
#8
Quote by NeoMvsEu
theogonia777
Tbf, writing down basic chords can be useful for other instruments, albeit more on the second level rather than the first.


"Do you know how to convert what you have into something another guitarist or bass player would recognize"

Yup, the comment definitely pertains to other instruments than guitar and bass.
There's no such thing; there never was. Where I am going you cannot follow me now.
#9
theogonia777
I agree that not every single note in the riff needs its own chord name (so replacing the tab with a list of chords doesn't make a lot of sense), but if TS wants to understand his chord progressions, understanding what harmonies the riff implies is pretty important.
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

Gear

Bach Stradivarius 37G
Charvel So Cal
Fender Dimension Bass
Hartke HyDrive 210c
Ibanez BL70
Laney VC30
Tokai TB48
Yamaha FG720S-12
Yamaha P115
#10
theogonia777,

Hi! I was not implying anything about tab; but I'll take the blame in forgetting about it (in my performance circles tab just doesn't exist).

Am I misunderstanding you if I suppose that when you write, "...very concisely indicating precisely what should be played...there is no room to be playing around with chord voicing" that perhaps you are restricting this to the rehearsal, performance, or recording of a finished Metal song? If that is characteristic of Metal, I can understand.

However, you may be misunderstanding my thinking, which is that Necroheadbanger's question seemed to me to be much more about unfinished songs - the writing, composing, developing, exploring, improving, and otherwise working up of song ideas. I'm thinking that even when Metal songs intended to be rigorously executed when finalized are still in construction phase, various approaches are evaluated and tested for how they sound. Identifying the harmonic structures of tentative versions of an evolving song would seem to be useful in a collaborative composition effort with other musicians.
Quote by reverb66
I'm pretty sure the Bible requires that you play through a tube amp in Texas.
#11
Quote by PlusPaul
theogonia777,

Hi! I was not implying anything about tab; but I'll take the blame in forgetting about it (in my performance circles tab just doesn't exist).

Am I misunderstanding you if I suppose that when you write, "...very concisely indicating precisely what should be played...there is no room to be playing around with chord voicing" that perhaps you are restricting this to the rehearsal, performance, or recording of a finished Metal song? If that is characteristic of Metal, I can understand.

However, you may be misunderstanding my thinking, which is that Necroheadbanger's question seemed to me to be much more about unfinished songs - the writing, composing, developing, exploring, improving, and otherwise working up of song ideas. I'm thinking that even when Metal songs intended to be rigorously executed when finalized are still in construction phase, various approaches are evaluated and tested for how they sound. Identifying the harmonic structures of tentative versions of an evolving song would seem to be useful in a collaborative composition effort with other musicians.


Fair enough. I was going off the situation described in the OP where the context of the riffs was specified. In the case of metal, I have been involved in more than my fair share of metal bands over the years and tablature is the only for of notation used. I still disagree with trying to class every dyad as implied harmony since that would probably be unnecessary for most applications since it is just a root with passing tones. It would be more accurate to describe the last part of the second riff as just simply C since other musicians (such as a keyboard player) are going to play a one type of C chord over that series of notes rather than change notes every time the guitar does.
There's no such thing; there never was. Where I am going you cannot follow me now.
#12
Quote by Necroheadbanger


Progression 1:

e|--------------------------------------------------------|
B|--------------------------------------------------------|
G|----2--------------------2----------------------------|
D|-2------1-------------------------------2-------------|
A|-0---0---2---3---5------0---3---2---0---5---3----|
E|------1---1---1---3--3-------3---3-------3---1----|


I don't have a guitar with me, so this probably sounds dumb or maybe expected.  But I usually like to play with single note additions between particular chords.  Ps, I'm not a theory hound.  If two notes can be called a power chord by the metal gods, then as far as I'm concerned what you got there is some chords.  No need for fancy words
"I definitely don’t write all my music in a blackout, like I used to, although I did come up with some good stuff in a blackout."
-Matt Fucking Pike