Guitar Chord Progressions - Turn Chords Into Songs
There are two key benefits of learning about guitar chord progressions
on this site...
You'll be able to write
your own songs
by stringing chords together into something
are certain chord relationships that you can use to make writing
compelling songs of your own easier - relationships behind some of the
world's most loved music and used by the world's greatest songwriters.
You'll be able to pick up chord progressions by ear and know
exactly how to accompany them in any
key (e.g. for soloing and vocals). This naturally ties in
with your knowledge of scales.
Obviously I don't want to tell
to play, but I hope this
series of lessons will leave you feeling more confident with both
identifying and writing your own chord progressions on guitar.
this section is still expanding. It's a huge subject and I
intend to make this the most comprehensive course available...
Guitar Chord Progressions
Three-Chord Progressions A good primer. How to create
simple three-chord progressions in any
Gets you playing around some key relationships used in popular music.
Guitar Chord Progressions Shows you how to use
basic open position chords you learn as a
beginner to craft meaningful guitar chord progressions based on a few
2 introduces us to minor key relationships and the
concept of relative
key, switching between major and minor key to change the mood of your
3 looks at modifying and enhancing the relationships
we learned in the
first two parts, giving you more options for adding depth and variation
to your songwriting.
Diatonic Chord Progressions & Scale Harmonization
The word diatonic,
in the context of chord progressions, is just another way of referring
system of chords built around the degrees of the major scale. It's the
formula behind countless songs, old and new. It also gives us the most common major and minor key centres.
Think of the major
with chords built on each of its 7 degrees. The result is a
harmonization of the scale, or what I prefer to simply call a chord scale.
Watch the video below for a great introduction to scale harmonization and the concept of building chords from a parent scale...
This scale is by no means the limits of your songwriting, as
we'll be expanding out of it in later stages. However, it has been the
backbone of many chord progressions and music in
general for hundreds of years. It's the basis of countless hit songs,
old and new.
So, the above chord scale uses the same
intervals as the major
scale. All we're doing is building chords on each degree
of the scale, from 1 (tonic) to 7 (leading). These chords,
and variations are covered in the lessons below...
Adds the submediant chord (vi)
to the scale. Now we have a 5 chord
scale with a new minor chord function. Later, you'll see how the
submediant becomes the natural tonic chord (i) of
Adds the mediant (iii)
chord to the progression, a commonly used link
between the tonic chord and other chords in the scale.
Shows us how to modify the iii
chord by using major, dominant 7th and
augmented variants in your guitar chord progressions.
Tone Chord Introduces the final chord in the scale,
the 7th degree
leading tone (vii)
makes use of those tense sounding diminished chords.
Looks at enhancing the major key tonic chord (I),
and which types of
major chord work well in the tonic position, including using the tonic
as an "ending chord".
Minor Key Progressions
The minor key chord scale can be seen as chords built on the
degrees of the natural minor scale, or starting from the 6th degree of
the major scale. So the vi chord becomes the tonic i, and the sequence continues from there.
Key Tonic Introduces us to minor key relationships,
establishing a new minor
tonic chord (i)
using the same chord scale as before.
Chord Progressions Function
Resolution Learn about the use of tension and
Relative Key Changes Learn how to change between relative keys to make your music structurally more interesting.
Parallel Key Changes Another simple key change option that helps to take your listener on more of an emotional journey.
Dominant Key Changes Learn how to use the dominant to change to ANY key, major or minor, even distantly related keys.
Chord Progressions Takes you through the common "1 4
5" blues forms including 12 bar, 8 bar
and the less common 16 bar blues, plus typical jazz blues variations.
Major Key Darkness How major keys can offer an undercurrent of tragedy, loss and foreboding, in this unique lesson.
Borrowed Chords Here we focus on how certain "outside" chord changes can be connected to their own scale or mode.
Major 7th Chords Learn the function of major 7th chords in progressions, including key changes.