Chord Progressions?
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Old 18-03-2013, 06:21 AM   #1
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Chord Progressions?

How do you guys come up with the basis of your songs (the chord progression, am I right?) Lately I have been having trouble with this. I know it is super basic but I am terrible at coming up with a solid melody!!!

EDIT: This is mainly for electro/funk.

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Old 18-03-2013, 06:32 AM   #2
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Re: Chord Progressions?

I play three notes at the same time, then I play three other notes at the same time.
I do this until I've made up something that sounds good.

Oh, and music theory goes a long way!

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Old 18-03-2013, 06:54 AM   #3
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Re: Chord Progressions?

don't bother much with theory, use his 3 notes approach.
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Old 18-03-2013, 06:56 AM   #4
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Re: Chord Progressions?

for a melody just start with going up or down whatever scale you choose and maybe omit some notes. and play the scale again but without however many notes you took out, skip some, maybe a melody will pop out. it doesn't need to be complicated.

remember even dwarves start small, work small to get big

check out like aviciis levels, i bet he toiled day and night over that. not. but you can hear the simplicity in it and i guess that is what makes that particular melody really attractive and therefore, sold big.

but its not as complicated as you're thinking of it right now...yeah, right now! just do it. i know its cliche and rehashed but it works. what Dippshoe said too, theory does go along way practice it.
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Old 18-03-2013, 07:14 AM   #5
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Re: Chord Progressions?

learning theory is cool and all, but it takes a good while before it becomes useful.. for writing chord structures.. you might want to familiarize yourself with these concepts:

-modes
-chord inversions and voice leading
-"rules" for four part writing

But yea, you don't have to use theory. Using your ear is the most important thing.

Try doing it with triads for starters.. in other words three notes.. That means three DIFFERENT notes.. in other words, if you have a C in the bass and then a G in the middle and a C in the top, it's not a triad. You can program your chords into the piano roll and then experiment and audition a lot of different things. This is what I recommend.

Voice leading is mainly just making it where each "part" of the chord (meaning bass, tenor, alto, soprano) moves to the next note in the smoothest way possible. And that there aren't a bunch of weird leaps going on. Most of the time, what makes a chord progression sound good is not the chords themselves, but the way that they are voiced, specifically in relation to one another.


hope that helps
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Old 18-03-2013, 07:16 AM   #6
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Re: Chord Progressions?

protip: always skip one semitone between when playing triads, else they tend to sound shit.
(without going into music theory 'n' shit". )

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Old 18-03-2013, 07:35 AM   #7
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Re: Chord Progressions?

just learn theory for gods sake; stop acting like basic functional harmony is rocket science.

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Old 18-03-2013, 04:46 PM   #8
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Re: Chord Progressions?

I have an ableton project that is just dozeons of chord progressions in all kinds of keys. Just sit down, fold your piano roll into a scale and start cranking them out.

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Old 19-03-2013, 02:47 AM   #9
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Re: Chord Progressions?

Play around, see what you can get, you start to get a feel for what sound you get with which jump between notes.
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Old 19-03-2013, 02:49 AM   #10
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Re: Chord Progressions?

how do you fold your piano roll into a scale and what is the upside to doing this?

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Old 19-03-2013, 03:48 AM   #11
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Re: Chord Progressions?

Quote:
Originally Posted by reticent View Post
how do you fold your piano roll into a scale and what is the upside to doing this?
I guess he refers to Ableton, you can fold the view to the notes drawn, so you can drawn the scale , move it to the grey area and fold it. A bit messy. Studio One has a feature where you select the scale and key and so the scale notes will be highlighted in the piano and out key notes blocked.
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Old 19-03-2013, 04:39 AM   #12
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Re: Chord Progressions?

Like this?

Can I simply take any minor/major scale and just do this? seems really easy.. so that way you can pick any notes in the scale and it should sound good?

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Old 19-03-2013, 04:50 AM   #13
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Re: Chord Progressions?

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Originally Posted by reticent View Post
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Can I simply take any minor/major scale and just do this? seems really easy.. so that way you can pick any notes in the scale and it should sound good?

Yes, i just gave such tip in another thread. Scales and Chords are the SAME thing. For chords you can play at once any amount of notes in a given scale, in any progression that it will be correct. Just pay attention to stay in the key IF you want an especific mode, i mean, A minor may turn C major easily if you don't pay attention.
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Old 19-03-2013, 05:02 AM   #14
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Re: Chord Progressions?

Another tip that I found useful (but totally useless for me, I personally don't like it) is:
In ableton, apply a "Chord" MIDI Effect, then a C Major/Minor Scale MIDI Effect, then just create a random "chord" ( 1 4 8 or 1 5 8 sounds pretty cool) and play notes on your keyboard. Thats just for others, it really doesn't help me too much.
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Old 19-03-2013, 01:12 PM   #15
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Re: Chord Progressions?

i was wondering if i could do this in logic??????
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Old 19-03-2013, 04:57 PM   #16
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Re: Chord Progressions?

I use to just put random notes that sound good lol....but now I have a little music theory understanding and now I pick three notes in a chord and run with it...i derive my arps from those...i go up&down octaves and notes...it's pretty simple when you find your own method...just figure what works for you mate !
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Old 19-03-2013, 07:09 PM   #17
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Re: Chord Progressions?

Try not to let your melodies interfere with your chord progression. For example, don't let one instrument play a C while the bass is playing a G major chord (generally). Sometimes the C will not sound good with the major third (B). Instead, try something like making the G chord a G sus 4 chord so that the melody goes along with the bass line.
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Old 19-03-2013, 08:14 PM   #18
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Re: Chord Progressions?

Quote:
Originally Posted by fuzzwuzz View Post
then just create a random "chord" ( 1 4 8 or 1 5 8 sounds pretty cool)

those aren't "random", they are an augmented major, and minor in first inversion, respectively, but that helps with chords, not chord progressions.

Also, you probably wouldn't want to make a chord progression entirely out of augmented chords, though they are good as V chords leading back to the I, but learning why is probably best in the long run, as Slump so eloquently put it:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Slump View Post
just learn theory for gods sake; stop acting like basic functional harmony is rocket science.
Quote:
Originally Posted by juabelhernandez View Post
i was wondering if i could do this in logic??????
You could use this: [Only registered and activated users can see links. Click here to register]
which has the added benefit of giving more information about chord types, then you can learn while you cheat!

Last edited by penguinoid; 19-03-2013 at 08:50 PM..
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Old 19-03-2013, 11:02 PM   #19
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Re: Chord Progressions?

I love tonespace.

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Old 20-03-2013, 12:13 AM   #20
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Re: Chord Progressions?

so tonespace creates chords for you?

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