Finding Alternatives to the Standard I-IV-V-I Progression

The typical 3-chord song has been the workhorse of early rock and roll. Go back to the 50s, and it’s the mainstay of most songs. By 3-chord songs, we’re talking usually about this progression: I  IV  V7  I  (C  F  G7  C) And then, of course, the writer might throw something else in, particularly in […]

Guitar and piano

Working Flat-III, Flat-VI, and Flat-VII Into a Major Progression

First, a Bit of Basic Theory… For any given major key, there are 7 chords that occur naturally, one built on each note of the scale. In the key of C major, that gives you these chords: C Dm Em F G Am Bdim According to the very popular HookTheory website, the 3 most commonly […]

Getting Chords in the Right Order

Good chord progressions are not simply one nice chord following another. There is a musical logic behind good ones. ____________ “The Essential Secrets of Songwriting” 6-eBook Bundle comes with this FREE eBOOK: “From Amateur to Ace: Writing Songs Like a Pro”. _____________ There is a reason why we call them chord progressions, and not chords successions. Something that […]

Making Chord Progressions By Categorizing Them

By categorizing chords, you avoid the randomness that leads to chord muddle. _____________ Download “The Essential Secrets of Songwriting” 6-eBook Bundle, and learn the 11 principles crucial to any songwriter’s success. _____________ If it seems like a random occurrence to you when you finally get a chord progression to work, it’s going to help if you […]

Strengthening an Aimless Chord Progression

When chord roots move by 4ths and 5ths, your progressions suddenly gain direction and purpose _____________ Download “The Essential Secrets of Songwriting” 6-eBook Bundle, and solve your songwriting problems TODAY. _____________ If you’re a chords-first kind of songwriter, you probably know the frustration of trying to put chords together that make sense. At times, the whole process can […]

The 7 Bits of Chord Theory Songwriters Need to Know

Music theory can seem like a lot of clutter until you filter it down to the things you really need to know. _____________ Download “The Essential Secrets of Songwriting” 6-eBook Bundle, and solve your songwriting problems TODAY. _____________ There are two major reasons why musicians sometimes have a negative view of music theory. The first has to do […]