A Pedal Tone Provides Stability

by Gary Ewer, from”The Essential Secrets of Songwriting” website:

Pedal tones in chord progressions can be very useful, particularly if you’re looking to use more chromatically complicated chords. That constant pedal (i.e., a low note that stays the same while the chords above it are changing) acts as a kind of anchor, helping the listener make sense of complex changes. The progressions below will work best in slower tempo songs. If you want to use them in an up-tempo song, experiment to find the tempo that works best; too quickly, and your song will have a bit of a frantic feel.


“The Essential Secrets of Songwriting”If you’re looking for more progressions (as in pages and pages of progressions), check out Gary’s 6 songwriting e-books. They’ll show you every aspect of how to write a great song. The titles include: “The Essential Secrets of Songwriting”, “Songwriting Lessons”, “How to Harmonize a Melody”, as well as 3 other chord progression e-books. Read more…


Remember that the note after the slash is the one that should be the lowest-sounding note of the chord. Without the pedal, the progressions will be a bit harder for the listener to make sense of them:

i) C  B/C  Ddim/C  C
This progression requires you to keep the note C in the bass for all four chords. The first and last chord are simply C major chords. The second chord is a B major chord (B-D#-F#) with a C in the bass. It then moves to a D diminished chord (by having the D# move to D and the F# move to F.)

ii) C/G  E/G  Bbm/G  G7(#5)  C

iii) F  E/F  Gm/F  Db/F  C/F  F

iv) E/A  F/A  G/A  D/A  C/A  B/A  Bb/A  A

v) F/C  G/C  B/C  C

FOR A LIMITED TIME: Gary’s newest e-book, “The Essential Secrets of Songwriting- Chord Progression Formulas” is being offered for free when you purchase any other of his songwriting e-books. Read more..

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