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 12-درس انجليزي Guitar Chord Progressions

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maryatchi
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عدد الرسائل : 250
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تاريخ التسجيل : 30/08/2009

مُساهمةموضوع: 12-درس انجليزي Guitar Chord Progressions   الجمعة ديسمبر 11, 2009 5:03 am

Guitar Chord Progressions
In this 4-part series, I'll show you how studying fairly simple music theory can help you become a songwriting factory on guitar. Bear with me on this 1st part as we need to get to grips with the basics first before you can start to look at making your own chord progressions. This is an excellent primer for the more in-depth Guitar Songwriting Course.
So what is a chord progression?
Basically, it's a sequence of chords that take you on a journey. A chord progression can consist of just 2 chords, or 22, it's completely up to you!
Before we start though, make sure you familiarise yourself with the 7 modes of the major scale and how they work together, because the modes work along side relative chords as part of the diatonic scale we're about to build. Learn more about guitar modes here.
It's also useful to know a bit of chord theory before we start.
Here's the deal - you give this your best shot, right to the end of this page, read every word, try your best. If you're completely lost by the end I'll explain exactly what to do.
Alright...



Chord progressions - 1 scale, 7 modes, 7 chords

Most of the songs you hear today, especially the more popular, mainstream songs, follow a formula. This formula is mostly what keeps music from being a senseless mess.
It's the formula that gives music a key center. If you hear musicians talk about a song being "in the key of _ major/minor", they're indirectly talking about the formula you're about to learn.
You see, chords are built from scales, and if you build chords on each degree of a scale, you get a chord scale...
We'll come to that in a minute. Let's just recap the modes of the major scale first and their order (this is important for knowing intervals on the fretboard of your guitar).


  • 1st Mode - Ionian, the elementary major scale


  • 2nd Mode - Dorian, a minor mode
  • 3rd Mode - Phrygian, a minor mode
  • 4th Mode - Lydian, a major mode
  • 5th Mode - Mixolydian, a major mode
  • 6th Mode - Aeolian, the natural minor scale
  • 7th Mode - Locrian, the "odd one out", a diminished mode
Now, in the final guitar modes lesson, we learned that each mode starts on the relative degree of the major scale. E.g. the 3rd note of the major scale is where 3rd mode Phrygian starts. We call these starting points "root notes", because when you build the relative major or minor chord around its mode, the 1st note of that mode becomes the chord's root.
Each mode has a relative chord type, based on its tones, and in the example we're going to be looking at: major, minor or diminished.
The minor modes build minor chords and the major modes build major chords. 7th mode Locrian builds diminished chords (that's why it's the odd one out).
Let's first learn the chord scale to get its "formula" in our heads. In the next lesson we can look at actually creating chord progressions from this initial scale. It'll be much clearer that way, I promise.
So, starting with basic chord triads (e.g. E major, E minor), we can play each mode's relative chord, with the same root note intervals, just like the modes from 1-7. What we get is a chord scale...
W = Whole step (2 fret spacing on the neck) H = Half step (1 fret spacing on the neck). This was covered in the intervals lesson.


Here's the chord scale of E major (because we start on E major as relative to mode number 1, Ionian, which is the same as the major scale)...



Yeh - about the roman numerals... there is a good reason in that they won't get confused with the numbers used in chord symbols (you'll know what I mean if you've been through the chord theory lessons). The numbers can also represent the equivalent mode number the chord is built from.
Look at that string of chords - I (1) is the first chord from the first mode - Ionian builds major chords. We then follow the intervals like we would with the notes of the first scale/mode - Ionian. It's all relative - Each Ionian note interval marks the start of a new mode, so they also mark the root notes of their relative chords!
Now, the lower case numerals (ii, iii, vi, vii) are from the minor modes, and the diminished mode (Locrian). Basically, if it ain't a major then it gets a lower case numeral! This reminds us, when writing a progression (e.g. I, ii, V) which chords are major, and which are minor (diminished is technically minor with a flat 5th).
See how they are like simplified chord versions of the modes at their natural, major scale intervals? Because we're only using triads (3 note chords) at this stage, they are the simplest chords we can use.
Note: You can learn more about how to construct guitar chords here.
So, if we were to just use barre chords to play that chord scale above, this is what we could play (note: this is NOT a progression. Well, it is, but it's pretty dull because it's just the chord scale in its natural sequence!)...
Click the tab to hear



Just sounds right as a scale doesn't it? It's essentially the major scale in chord form, but remember each of those chords is the relative chord of their mode. Each chord marks a new degree of the major scale, just as each mode does. The 5th mode, Mixolydian is a major mode in its purest form, so its relative chord becomes... yep, major! The tones that make up Mixolydian are the same tones that can make up your 5th degree chord.
Thing is, triads are OK as chords, but I like to use more interesting chords like 7ths (4-note chords) in my chord progressions.
So what happens if we make the relative chords in that scale 7th chords?
The intervals stay the same, the overall type of chord stays the same (e.g. major, minor) but we add the 7th tone to each chord.
Confused?: If you're scratching your head wondering what "adding the 7th tone" means, you need a chord theory fix! Access the guitar chord theory lessons here.
If we are using 7th chords, you need to remember how the 7th is used for each chord in the scale, based on where it lies in its relative mode...


  • Ionian and Lydian both build major 7th chords (e.g. Emaj7) because the notes in their scales involves the 7th in its "natural", major scale position.
  • Mixolydian (5th mode, therefore 5th chord in scale) builds dominant 7 chords (flat 7th, e.g. E7) because there's a flat 7th in its scale. A major chord with a flat 7th is called a dominant 7th chord!
  • The minor modes, Dorian, Phrygian and Aeolian also have flat 7ths in their scales making them minor 7th chords.
So, bearing this in mind...
If we started the scale on C# (C# Ionian would be our first mode) then its relative 7th chord would be... C#maj7.
Let's follow the sequence in the below diagram, from the first (tonic) chord in the scale, C#maj7...
Click on the diagram to hear the sequence


So it's exactly the same chord scale as before in its purest form, the only thing we've altered is the fullness of the chord (e.g. instead of just C#, it's now C#maj7. Instead of just Fm, it's Fm7). This is a great exercise for building chord progressions - start with the basic 3 note triad chords and add notes to each chord from their relative mode scales (e.g. Mixolydian has a flat 7th, sure, but why not try adding other tones from that mode as well)...
We're jumping way ahead of ourselves anyway - more on that soon Wink
Right, I think we deserve a break!...




A lot to take in...

You're probably thinking "OK, but when are you going to show me how to make my OWN chord progressions!?" Patience! In the coming lessons I'll show you exactly how to use this chord scale to create your own major and minor key progressions on your guitar.
For now, trust me, learn that chord scale's intervals - you should be able to play it starting from any chord using this whole-step and half-step interval structure. But, if you're really struggling at this stage...
Deep breath - go back to the main guitar theory page and see what you've missed before this lesson. It's important to learn this stuff in the order I've presented it, but I understand you may have arrived at this page from a search engine. You must take your time with all this.
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maryatchi
مشرف منتدى كوردات ونوتات القيتار


عدد الرسائل : 250
العمر : 35
تاريخ التسجيل : 30/08/2009

مُساهمةموضوع: رد: 12-درس انجليزي Guitar Chord Progressions   الجمعة ديسمبر 11, 2009 5:04 am

And so on, right up to chord 7 in the scale, directly relating to the diminished Locrian mode, so the natural chord becomes...yes...diminished!
So basically we can tie a relative chord to the modes at their intervals - the root notes of the chords are positioned at the 1st note of each mode. Each mode's root (1st note) is set at the intervals of the first mode, Ionian (just the "major scale"). The chord scale follows these exact intervals! (See the diagram above - W = whole step interval H = half step interval).
When we add new tones to the basic major/minor triads the scale stays exactly the same, but remember that chord V (5) in the scale cannot include a major 7th, it must be a dominant 7th (flat 7th) IF we do add 4 tones or more to the chord. You'll see why in this lesson...
Just a quick recap there, but if you need to go over part 1, just click here (opens in new window for you).
In this part, we'll look at actually creating meaningful chord progressions and how you can create your own using this chord scale "formula".



Major key chord progressions

A major key progression is defined by the tonic chord - the tonic is the I (1st) chord in the chord scale...

So in that scale above, E major is the tonic and E major is the key (remember, the lower case numerals represent the minor chords) We'll get onto writing minor key progressions later.
Let's start by creating a simple I IV V progression, the very foundation of blues. That means we take the 1st, 4th and 5th chords from the chord scale which are all incidentally major chords. You can start in any key, but let's start in the key of E for this...
Click the tab to hear



The I IV V notation doesn't define your rhythm or tempo - you decide what you do with the chords in regard to speed or rhythmic effects. It's just meant to tell us the order of chords in a chord progression in any key. So, that same I IV V progression in the key of D would include the chords D major, G major and A major. The important thing is to understand how music works with the tonic (I) - the V chord is like the tension before the return to the tonic. Most western music works this way and it's good to think of the progression away from the tonic like a journey away from home:
tonic > journey > tension > return to tonic.
Jazz music commonly spends a lot of time away from the tonic, so when that final tension comes it's very satisfying to hear the progression resolve. These are the psychological factors that make music "work" as a sequence of chords.
Of course, you don't have to play those chord shapes. If you want to learn more about playing chords in different positions and voicings, go here.
So once we have the basic progression we can think about making the chords a bit more interesting (this is where your judgement comes in - do you like the sound of what you've created?).
A simple way to spice the progression up is to use 7th chords. So for the I IV V progression above here's what we could play (again, this is where your creativity with chords comes in)...






More complex chord progressions

Blues managed to survive decades on just the same I IV V progression, but not everyone wants to play the same 3 chord progression over and over again!!!
The beauty of this chord scale formula is you can pull out any sequence of chords from it, play around with the tones of the chords and you should get a nice sounding progression.
Let's do just that with the key of E major again. Here's the basic scale again for non-scrolling reference...

Another common progression is I iii vi IV so in the key of E that would be E Abm C#m A We can also, like before, add tones to the chords to make them a bit more interesting...



I've tabbed that nice ending chord for you - this is an example of how you can "big up" the ending with the tonic chord - just extend the chord to a full voicing with some added notes (in this case it's a dominant 7th with an added 9th).



Making more out of the tension chords

In the chord scale we've been looking at, the "tension chords" are IV, V and vii. They act as natural points in the progression before that return back to the tonic.


  • IV can be a major triad, major 7 or dominant 7 based chord
  • V can only be a major triad or dominant 7 based chord (you'll see exactly why if you play I IV then V as a maj7 - it will sound kind of out of place in a bad way)
  • vii acts as a diminished "tension" chord
What I mean by "tension" is that these chords are often played just before returning to the tonic chord. So, keeping in the key of E like before, the IV tension chord would be an A major based chord (e.g. A13, Amaj7 etc.).
Listen below to hear the tension of A before resolving to E - IV before resolving to I
Click to hear >
The first tension and return was Amaj7 (IV) - E (I), the second was A7 (IV) - E (I)
See how it has a natural kind of resolution?
Now let's hear an example of the V - I tension, so in the key of E major that would be B back to E
Click to hear >
A good example of how the V chord can be used as tension before a tonic resolution. And remember, you can't have the V chord as a major 7, that's a maj7 based chord in relation to the I tonic because it won't sound right - try it and trust your ears! This is because if you were in the key of E, and played Bmaj7 as the V chord, you would in fact be changing key! More on changing key effectively next lesson.
The other tension chord in the scale is the vii chord. This acts as a diminished chord if you recall the chord scale diagram. Again, let's hear it in action as a tension-resolution clip...
Click to hear >
The first vii chord is a half-diminished (or m7b5 - minor 7th flat 5th), the second was a full diminished 7 chord. The latter one especially sounds very tense and is used a lot in jazz.
You can learn more about constructing interesting chords (not just the same old triads and 7ths) right here.



Building chord progressions in other keys

The examples I've used in this lesson have all been related to the chord scale/key of E major. You need to know where each chord in the scale would lie for any key, not just E obviously.
Here are a few tips on visualizing where the chords in the scale lie...
If the root note of the "I" chord is on the A string...
Root note of V lies directly beneath it on the E string:



Root note of vi lies 3 frets lower on the same A string AND 2 frets higher, on the E string:


Now, based on the intervals of the chord scale, which is the same no matter what major key you start in, you should be able to work out where each chord in the scale lies in relation to the next/previous.



  • Root note of IV is a whole step (or 2 frets if you're on the same root string for both chords) lower than root note of V
  • Root note of iii is a whole step higher than root note of ii
  • Root note of V is a whole step lower than root note of vi
And so on... try and learn these interval relationships so you'll know how the chord scale can be mapped out in any major key.


Take a breather...

OK, we're making good progress here, but we're still missing a few things. Next lesson we'll get more advanced with constructing minor key progressions and using "gateway" chords to spice up your songs. Changing key (covered in the final part) and knowing how to use what I call "gateway chords" to get you back in key for that tonic resolution can create that perfect tension we've been talking about. It also takes your listeners on more of an engaging journey with your music.
So take a break, work on this lesson for now and experiment with progressions and tensions from the chord scale. When you're ready to push this a step further you can use the links below!
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12-درس انجليزي Guitar Chord Progressions
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