im looking for some kind of brief explanation on the use of chords in songs. i know of the use of chord progressions but dont really know how to manipulate them or anything. can you just pick random chords out of a hat that all fit to a key and then make your own progression, or do you need to work off of a progression that already exists (like improv off a scale). i can look up a natural minor scale progression for example and it will give me 7 chords, i presume just being the chords for each note in the minor scale, but what would i do with that? take some away, switch the order? also, if you want to play in say B Phrygian, does your progression need to start with some kind of B chord? if you made the third chord a Bm for example and maybe the first was a Csus4 would it still be B Phrygian or some scale in C? i hope someone can decipher what im getting at here
Quote by loganrocksabass

how can your girlfriend be in your band if she's in the kitchen?
dude, just do whatever sounds good to you

and it doesn't change the scale if you change the chord you start with
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chords are usually used to accompany another instrument/vocals...
good chords to use are I IV and V as these are all the major chords in a scale. Also ii and vi are okay to use (i think, someone clarify this...)
a good progression to end on is ii - V - I which is called a perfect cadence -- a lot of classical pieces use this as it makes the piece feel finished, and sounds nice.

this isnt really in depth, but im not a theory genius. if any of this is wrong, i apologise, but im pretty sure its okay...
the chords i listed to use, if in G major, are the chords of green day - good riddance (and of course many other songs, but most people have heard this one, so you should have an idea...)
traditionally, chords are there to support a melody... very often, you'd choose chords based on the melody you've thought of... if you analyse some classic & well known songs, you'll find a lot of their vocal melodies are heavily based on the underlying chords... so if you find yourself humming a tune, and wonder what chord you should play under it, try choosing chords where the strong notes of the tune are part of the chord

if you're trying to write a song by coming up with chords THEN trying to think of a melody, then you can try pretty much anything, chord wise... I reckon every chord change you can think of has probably already been turned into a song at some time or another

a fantastic book to read is 'How To Write Songs On Guitar' by Ricky Rooksby... it has a lot of really useful & practical info on how to use chords in songs, with lots of real world examples
Quote by Guitar Guy21
How do you find these strong notes in the melody?

if you're humming a tune to yourself, usually you get a sense of the where the beat would fall... the strong notes would often be the ones that fall ON the beat... and the strong notes would often be longer than passing notes

it's more of an art than a science but you just need to feel which are the strong notes and which are the passing notes
Chords come from the scale, or key.
So if you want to make a song, you just pick your key. Then you have your chords.
All you need to do is memorise what chords are in what keys.
Like F
Fmajor, Bb major, C major.
Gminor, Aminor, Dminor.

Once you know them, you can pretty much do whatever you like
^ there are way over 7 distinct chords in a key.
major and it's variations, minor and variations, diminished, augmented, suspended and all the variations. that's a sheetload of chords.

and the B harmonic minor scale is B C# D E F# G A#

btw, for the TS, suspended isn't either minor or major, so you can use it whenever.