I was wondering if you need to know theory behind chord progressions? I'm not trying to take the easy way out of theory. It's just that when I read about theory behind chord progressions I just get really confused. So should I learn about it or should I just to to make progressions by experimenting? If I should learn theory behind chord progressions where should I start with it so I could understand it?

when you don't understand theory, all your progressions kinda sound the same. but when you don't know it, your progressions stay simple,(which is what the public wants, nice and simple)
That wasn't really the answer I was looking for. Besides I play what I want, not what other people want.
You can make chord progressions without theory (duh), but theory helps IMMENSELY with your understanding of why your chord progression sounds as it does, and what chords you can use to make it sound just how you want it. Hell, even something as simple as knowing a plagal cadence or a perfect authentic cadence can give your songs the powerful finales you've always wanted.
Chord progression theory is very easy. I can explain it right now actually.

Lets say we are in the key of C. That means that there are no sharps or flats in the scale. We have these notes: C, D, E, F, G, A, B, and C. Now to find out what works in a chord progression, we have to use this little formula (or whatever you want to call it) to figure out what kind of chord we can have. And remember, key of C right now.

C major
D minor
E minor
F major
G major
A minor
B diminished

Now with having that, we could put a chord progression together of F major, G major, then C major. We could also play something like A minor, G major, then C major because those all fit into that little threw we drew up there.

Now if we are in the key of F for example, the key of F has one flat, Bb. That means that the notes in the scale would be: F, G, A, Bb, C, D, E, and F. So we would have the following chords that would fit into that scale:

F major
G minor
A minor
Bb major
C major
D minor
E diminished

So once again, we could pick any of those chords to play in the key of F.

What we are doing is essentially using this following chart and applying it to a scale. Now the numbers here represent the degree of the scale. 1 would mean the root. 5 would mean the 5th of the scale (which would be G in the key of C):


With that chart thing, you should be able to apply a scale to that, and then figure out what chords work together.

Remember that you can make a major chord into a major7 or major9 chord if you want, and the same for minor chords. Dont forget that these are just guidelines and you can add a different chord in there if you feel appropriate. If you are looking for a sound that none of those can create, then mess around until you find it.

EDIT: I hope that all made sense. If not, ask again towards a specific thing.
Quote by funkdaddyfresh
justin, that was easily the most inspiring, helpful piece of advice anyone has ever given me in regards to my musical pursuits.

Screaming Help
Last edited by justin_fraser at Mar 10, 2007,
Ok sorry I didnt really help you. But I think that those guys in that other thread have it nailed down. Im off to bed though so ask more specific about it and someone will get you the answer.
Quote by funkdaddyfresh
justin, that was easily the most inspiring, helpful piece of advice anyone has ever given me in regards to my musical pursuits.

Screaming Help