#1
Whats up everybody?

I cant seem to find any good material on writing in minor keys. If someone could give me an in depth "lesson" on writing in minor keys it would be greatly appreciated. I understand the aeolian mode/relative minor and its use in writing melodies and bass lines but im curious about writing chord progressions. So, my main question is:

Major keys follow the pattern major-minor-minor-major-major-minor-diminished. Do minor keys follow the same pattern but just start on the relative minor of the major key? If not, what is the pattern that minor keys follow?

Kind of a noob question but still necessary to know. Thanks
#2
Quote by esposito123
Do minor keys follow the same pattern but just start on the relative minor of the major key?



yes

C Major: C dm em F G Am Bdim


A minor: Am Bdim C dm em F G


how to write in a minor key? same as any key. Use your ear.

If you have absolutely no idea what to do, learn some songs that are minor. Actually learn a bunch of songs.
Then get creative and so what you can come up with.
#3
yes technically, but you usually will raise the third of the 5 chord to make it major, as well as the root of the 7 chord to make it diminished and to have the leading tone leading towards the tonic.
#4
Quote by phoenix_88
yes technically, but you usually will raise the third of the 5 chord to make it major, as well as the root of the 7 chord to make it diminished and to have the leading tone leading towards the tonic.
However, you usually only do this when the V chord is played. For instance, Am G F E7 is a common progression. It uses the A Natural Major scale for the first three chords, including the minor seventh, G, but then uses the nat7, G#, when E7 is played.
#5
Well Major progressions are (basically) extended I-IV-V progressions, with modulation and chord substitution thrown in to make composition a bit more interesting...

Frankly, chord progressions are almost as stimulating as Calculus. Almost.



But a Major progression might go something like this:

E - E - B - A :

Very basic, holy trinity of rock riff for yah.

Okay, let's do it in minor. How? Move it up 9 frets!

C#m - C#m - G#m - F#m :

That's vi - vi - iii - ii, which is the same progression, really, only in the relative minor key (C#m)

Writing progressions is just a matter of expanding that tired formula into some new and interesting harmonic/rhythmic ground.

How about C#m - B - F#m - G#m?

There are books of progressions. Actually I'm pretty sure you can't actually lay claim to a progressions anymore as they have all been written before. It's like patenting Carbon Dioxide - you just can't do it.

But I read an article somewhere about expanding these 3-chord progressions into 5-chords, then 7, then 11, 15, 29...

One of my favorite pieces is Pink Floyd's A Saucerful of Secrets. That is a kick ass progression!

Also Sgt Pepper's Lonely Heart's Club Band.

If you want to learn progressions, I suggest studying up on those two.
"Virtually no one who is taught Relativity continues to read the Bible."

#6
thanks for clearing that up for me. Its really a lot more simple than I thought. Thanks again.
#7
Is it possible to have a chord progression based on the harmonic minor scale? Like using the #7?

Something like this (in A minor)

Am Bm Caug (1 3 #5) Dm E F G#dim (1 b3 b5)
#8
^^ Why not, if it sounds good?
Nor less I deem that there are Powers
Which of themselves our minds impress;
That we can feed this mind of ours
In a wise passiveness.
--Wordsworth

last.fm
#9
As an example of what I was talking about yesterday, here is an easy classical piece that appears later on in Metallica's "To Live Is To Die" and if you have the patience of a saint you've probably heard it...


------------------------------
-1---0^1^0-0------------------
---2---------2-0-0---0--0/2---
----2--------------2-------0--
-0------------------2-------0-
-----------3-----0----0-1-----

------------------------------
-1----1/3--3----------0-0---3-
---2---------0---0---0----0---
----2---------0----2-------0--
-0------------------2---------
-----------3-----0------3-----


That's Am-G-Em-Dm-Am-G-Em-G, or in Classical/Jazz language: vi-V-iii-ii-vi-V-iii-V

In your own writing G7 would be acceptable/interchangeable.

That's about the simplest, most well-written short bit of classical guitar I can think of for students. It's got everything: movement, theme and variation, resolution...

Quote by 12345abcd3
Is it possible to have a chord progression based on the harmonic minor scale? Like using the #7?

Something like this (in A minor)

Am Bm Caug (1 3 #5) Dm E F G#dim (1 b3 b5)
Anything is possible.

This progresses scalewise, which isn't necessarily bad, but it's hard to do well. I find that arpeggiation is a good strategy for making a scalewise (ABCDEF...) progressions work, although Caug sounds strange in there. You might try adding the 7th. How about C6m7?


-
4
3
6
3
-

That's a bit more interesting. Kind of jazzy.
"Virtually no one who is taught Relativity continues to read the Bible."

Last edited by Bubonic Chronic at May 7, 2008,
#10
Quote by Bubonic Chronic


Anything is possible.

This progresses scalewise, which isn't necessarily bad, but it's hard to do well. I find that arpeggiation is a good strategy for making a scalewise (ABCDEF...) progressions work, although Caug sounds strange in there. You might try adding the 7th. How about C6m7?


-
4
3
6
3
-

That's a bit more interesting. Kind of jazzy.


Sorry, i didn't really mean chord progression, i meant that those are the chords from that scale like C Dm Em F G Am Bdim are from c major. So you just take A minor but change all the g's to g#'s so you have the #7 from the harmonic minor scale, as opossed to the natural one.

Also, i really meant has it been done before/ is it a real thing in music theory not is it possible.

To Bubonic Chronic: yeah, that C6m7 does sound pretty cool
Last edited by 12345abcd3 at May 7, 2008,
#11
I don't think I've ever heard an entire song based around a progression of the harmonic minor.. but you can find examples of a chord being substituted in from it.. Like an E major chord in an Am progression. (Not saying that all E major chords in an Am progression are from the harmonic minor, as it could act as a secondary dominant or something.. just using it as an example.)
Nor less I deem that there are Powers
Which of themselves our minds impress;
That we can feed this mind of ours
In a wise passiveness.
--Wordsworth

last.fm