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Topic: Creating Chord Progressions??  (Read 2531 times)

Offline Raydio

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Creating Chord Progressions??
on: October 30, 2003, 09:42:54 PM
Hello board, Im new to the board but also kind of new to music theory. My question is in regards to chord progressions, please work with me. I produce R&B, Rap, Funk, and Techno music for friends. My problem is that Im forever creating great drum lines and ok melodies for my songs, but people say that my songs would be fuller if I used chords. I heard of the I-V-I type of stuff, but how do I know which ones to use.

I understand what a chord is, but playing progressions is another thing.There are sooo many chords and if I took time to try out every single one in all keys, I would lose the idea. Its weird but, I have the sound in my head, just not sure what sound that is. If I knew, then I would just use my chord table to play it.
Are there ANY techniques the pros use to come up with chord progressions at the start of a song? I wonder if this will help me..... what if I do a progression of single keys then transfer the single keys into chords? Is this possible? I know I sound very dumb, but I am looking for an effective shortcut to getting ideas out of my head, but not messing up my creative process. Thank you!

Offline allchopin

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Re: Creating Chord Progressions??
Reply #1 on: November 01, 2003, 01:04:36 AM
kinda nonplussed here- chord progressions can be complicated.  First, what you should do is decide if that chord at that part in the song is going to be major or minor (this will determine the ambience of the song, if you will).  if major, for instance, in the key of C major (always the easiest- no accidentals), your chord progressions may go from c-e-g to f-a-c to g-b-d- to c-e-g (basic form).  From what I hear usually of techno, it is not major- so make these triads minor by lowering the 3rd.  
You dig?
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Offline PianoProfBonsWay

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Re: Creating Chord Progressions??
Reply #2 on: November 01, 2003, 10:11:24 AM
The professionals use a sytem called Tonal Formulation, using numbers so they can transpose into any key. I have that system. It will also give you the intelligences, like a doctorate in music. All the basic laws of performing and improv's. Most of my students have the thirty chapters by the end of one year or sooner.  It is great!  And it is great to be intelligent at the keyboard.  All chord progressions are related to each other like a family. Understand the family ~ and it will improve your ability at the piano.  Have you heard of  six men who sing without instruments called "Take Six"?  They all have master's or higher in music, met at college. I trained their enginer, who is also Amy Grants enginer for recording.
fastwaypianomethod@yukontel.com  Prof. B.
Prof. B.J. Woodruff
Bon's Way Fastrak Piano Educational System

Offline shas

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Re: Creating Chord Progressions??
Reply #3 on: November 03, 2003, 03:36:38 PM
There are loads of standard progressions that can be used. espeacially in jazz but that doesn't sound quite like what you want.
you can think of it more in terms of harmonising your mellody, which again can get quite complicated. You can however take it as simple as having an initial melody (which you said you did) and then writing other mellodys which fit or interlock with the original one. Kind of like writing three or four part harmony for vocals.

once you have two or therr tunes you can desifer what the chord actually turn out to be, which is easy enough if you knoe anything about it. And don't wory if you get complex that you can't nam. they might turn as somthing like half diminished altered thirtenths or somthing.
Anyway what matters is you get the sound you want although it cauld be usefull to study some chord theory. I recomend the Mark Levine Jazz piano book.Or most classical  (at least the stuff you study at A level) harmony and chords anr based on what Bach worked out.
Sharma Yelverton

Offline Raydio

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Re: Creating Chord Progressions??
Reply #4 on: November 03, 2003, 11:04:19 PM
Thanks for the information guys. That tonal formulation method sounds promising; where can I get more info on it. Also, I never heard of Take Six, but Im in need of a good engineer, any contact info. My point of this thread was pretty muched aimed at gospel and r&b music.  I hear chords in songs all the time but find it hard coming up with chords that link once I find out what key Im playing in. For example, if I compose a song in A minor, I want to know what chords fit with the A minor scale. Is there a reference or any tip that can help. I appreciate the info, keep it coming.

Offline shas

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Re: Creating Chord Progressions??
Reply #5 on: November 05, 2003, 05:35:12 PM
to work out the chords of a scale simply play triads starting on every not of the scale and c what they are.
for example. A min
(i) A min
(ii) B diminished
(iii)C Maj
(iv)D min
(v) E min (or idealy E Maj if your playing A harmonic)
(vi)F Maj
(vii)GMaj
Remember that the primary triads are the (i), (iv) and (v)
or the tonic, subdominant and dominant.
This aplys to any scale.
You use Harmonic minor scales so that you can have a Major dominant chord.
There is no reason why you can't use other chords as well as these. I would simply mean that you would be modulating it to anouther key.
All this would be explaind a lot better in most theory or harmony books. I find it hard to explain without demonstrating on the piano.
Sharma Yelverton

Offline Infernal_Nerd

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Re: Creating Chord Progressions??
Reply #6 on: November 09, 2003, 02:49:20 PM
Hmm, a progression I often use:
Cmin, G, D, Am, E, Bm, F#.
As you see, minor major minor major...
And observe: Cmin - Last note is G, G - Last note is D, and so on.

Is there a name for such a progression? is it a progression?

ME. :)
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Offline PianoProfBonsWay

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Re: Creating Chord Progressions??
Reply #7 on: November 10, 2003, 09:56:50 PM
Cmin, G, D, Am, E, Bm, F#.

Note that you progression going backwards in the order of perfect 4ths in distance, going forward in progression the order is perfect 5th in distance.  There is no scale-wise form in this combination that I can see. You are using a music concept: Tonic to Dominant of that Tonic.

Tonic C (but in the minor)  to Dominant G
Tonic G to Dominant D
Tonic D to Dominant A
Tonic A to Dominant E
Tonic E to Dominant B
Tonic B to Dominant F#


What one does with chord progression, there are still laws in music that govern the action ~ music has order. This order you have shown is within the music laws.

Keep creating ~ it is fun!

There are 15 Keys showing Tonic to Dominant design, like C+G+C (Only Perfect sound in design)  or the Root Position of a Triad (Chord), Root is the Tonic and 5th of that root is the Dominant. Can't have one without the other   8)
Prof. B.J. Woodruff
Bon's Way Fastrak Piano Educational System

Offline ted

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Re: Creating Chord Progressions??
Reply #8 on: November 10, 2003, 11:56:04 PM

Raydio:

Do you improvise a lot at the piano ? Have you attempted to realise these "sounds in your head" at the keyboard ? There's really no short method. You do have to work through all sorts of chords until they become a vocabulary which is second nature to your ear and mind. You don't say what your musical objectives are but, at bottom there are absolutely no rules at all. You make your own "shoulds" and "ought tos" depending on your musical direction and what you have within you to express.

A teacher experienced and fluent in many different musical idioms would probably help you find yourself more than anything. Such teachers are not common but they do exist.
"Mistakes are the portals of discovery." - James Joyce
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