Simple Chord Progressions

This lesson teaches basic progression construction.

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Many beginners start their guitar education by learning chords. I can't tell you how many beginners I know who know a ton of chords but have no clue what to do with them. In this lesson, I will explain how to applie chords in several basic sections. Section 1: Major Chords in a Major Key When you play in a major key, you have to put major chords together. They should be arranged with 1st interval, 4th interval, and 5th interval. For Example: Key of C: C,F,G Key of G: G,C,D Section 2: Minor Chords in a Minor Key When you play in a minor key, you have to put minor chords together. They are arranged just like majors. For Example: Key of Am: Am,Dm,Em Key of Em: Em,Am,Bm Section 3: Relative Minors The relative minor chord is the 6th interval. For Example: Am is relative to C Em is relative to G Section 4: Using Major and Minor Chords/Chord Substitution There are 2 things that you can do with relative minors. 1. Add them to your progression For Example: C,F,G becomes C,Am,F,G G,C,D becomes G,Em,C,D 2. Use them to replace their relative chord. For Example: C,Am,F,G becomes C,Am,Dm,G G,Em,C,D becomes C,Em,Am,D Section 5: Chord Embellishment/Variations Many chords have different variations. For Example: Cadd9 Gsus2 You can replace chords with their different variations. Section 6: The Seventh Interval (If You Want to Use It) Many people will say that this interval should be a diminished chord, but I prefer to make it a suspended chord. Whatever floats your boat will work. Section 7: The Last Section This is the last section. It is a good way to keep someone busy. The average person will waste fifteen seconds reading this section.

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    philipp122
    This lesson skips over a lot. 1. You can use ANY chord with in a key to create a progression. For a major key, the order of the chords are: I major ii minor iii minor IV major V major vi minor vii diminished For example, the key of C major contains the chords C major, D minor, E minor, F major, G major, A minor, B diminished. You can pretty much use any of these chords in any order you want. The I-IV-V progression is popular and used often, but all sorts of progressions have been used. 2. You can NOT add any chord variation in place of any chord. Actually, you can, if it sounds good. However, it's technically wrong. If you are playing in the key of C, you would not replace G major with G major 7. You would replace it with G dominant 7. G major 7 contains the note F#, which clashes horribly with F. G dominant 7 contains a regular F note, which works much better. You also cant replace any chord with a b9, b13, sus9, or other variant chord because you are altering scale degrees that may not fit the key you are playing in. 3. There really isn't a "formula" for chord progressions. Many people believe that music theory tries to sum up just about everything in music with an exact science, but this is false. Theory explains which notes work with other notes to produce certain sounds. Certain foods, for example, work with other foods. Think of music theory as a giant menu, not a recipe. There are many guidelines for chord progressions, chord resolution, and other more complex subjects such as tritone substitution, but in general, you are pretty much free to do whatever you want using theory as your guide.
    scion_of_glory
    Section 6: The Seventh Interval (If You Want to Use It) Many people will say that this interval should be a diminished chord, but I prefer to make it a suspended chord. Whatever floats your boat will work.
    I think he means it's a matter of what sounds best in the song, that's all. This is good for a very basic lesson, and I do disagree with the theory, but this isn't science. This is art.
    krypticguitar87
    Section 6: The Seventh Interval (If You Want to Use It) Many people will say that this interval should be a diminished chord, but I prefer to make it a suspended chord. Whatever floats your boat will work.
    it's not really what you prefeer.... if you look at the formula for triads, it has some variation of the 1 the 3 and the 5..... major chords are 1,3,5 minor chords are 1,b3,5 and diminished is 1,b3,b5.... as suspended chord has no 3rd, the third is replaced with a perfect 4 or the major 2nd, so a sus4 is 1,4,5 and a sus2 is 1,2,5, the other major problem is that this chord needs a perfect fifth, which doesn't exist in the key.... for example in the key of C major(choosing to use one of the keys that you are using in the lesson so that any noob reading this doesn't get more confused), the 7th is "B", the Bmaj chord is created with B,D#,F#.... the chord Bdim is created with B,D,F... Bsus4 is B,E,F#, (this can work in the key of G, but not C...) and Bsus2 is B,C#,F#, the problem here is that the key of C major has no sharps so this can't work.... it's basic chord theory, you shouldn't be trying to teach suspended chords in a beginers guide, with out explaining diminished.... and if you are going to, then you should also explain it with chords that actually can be suspended.... the last thing is that I wish you went into a better explination of how.... you know how the progression works, you know everything reverts back to I.... I, IV, V is a very common progression, but you can replace the V with a diminished vii, and you can replace the IV with a ii..... so instead of Cmaj Fmaj Gmaj you could go with Cmaj Dmin Bdim.... or if you want to go with the key of g, instead of Gmaj Cmaj Dmaj go with Gmaj Amin F#dim..... hey it's great that you want to teach people, but seriously check the facts before doing it.... there is no reason to teach people the wrong way to do things.....