Author Topic: Chord Progression Help!!  (Read 963 times)

retniw11

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Chord Progression Help!!
« on: February 12, 2017, 08:37:22 pm »
Yo, so this is my first post on this forum and very happy to stumble across it!

So, I know these chord progression "flow maps" exist like these ones:
https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/236x/2e/63/c3/2e63c35bc809b4fe3a5371e2592a575e.jpg

They pretty much tell you what chord leads into which and what sounds good....

I looked up flume and porter robinsons hooktheory page where it shows their chord progressions for several songs, and they don't follow this at all but they sound so good and unique... What do you think is the process to achieve something like this?

I am aware of music theory fairly well and know you can write in like C-Major or A-Minor and transpose them based off scale degrees, but kinda confused on how these great artists come up with their stuff.. Anyways, thanks if anyone can help :D

Mussar

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Re: Chord Progression Help!!
« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2017, 10:08:11 pm »
There are two ways:

1. Listen intently to the music you've heard growing up, and try to find chord progression that evoke those feelings. Spend hours upon hours experimenting with random chord progressions by picking chords from those charts at random, and keep track of the ones you like and the ones you don't. Put in notes based on how they sound together, and keep messing with the placements of notes in successive chords to try and get them to work together.

2. Take the time to actually study traditional music theory. Enroll in some classes and/or find a tutor, and start learning. Learn why those charts exist in the first place, then learn how things start to blur as you add in more advanced concepts. Learn how those charts represent a much older structure to compositional theory, and how modern composers and songwriters tweak it to play with our expectations.

Both can get you to the same end point, but one leaves you with a lot of incomplete knowledge and potentially takes a lot longer.

Lydian

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Re: Chord Progression Help!!
« Reply #2 on: February 13, 2017, 12:41:04 am »
Yo, so this is my first post on this forum and very happy to stumble across it!

So, I know these chord progression "flow maps" exist like these ones:
https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/236x/2e/63/c3/2e63c35bc809b4fe3a5371e2592a575e.jpg

They pretty much tell you what chord leads into which and what sounds good....

I looked up flume and porter robinsons hooktheory page where it shows their chord progressions for several songs, and they don't follow this at all but they sound so good and unique... What do you think is the process to achieve something like this?

I am aware of music theory fairly well and know you can write in like C-Major or A-Minor and transpose them based off scale degrees, but kinda confused on how these great artists come up with their stuff.. Anyways, thanks if anyone can help :D

Idk how porter robinson or flume do it but I think you might be overthinking it a bit. It's nice to know these guidelines but not all composers are consciously thinking to themselves "Oh this is a V chord so let me ALWAYS resolve this to a I chord." I definitely never think this way.

I'd suggest you transcribe those porter and flume chord progressions that you like so much by ear. Figure out those chords and then incorporate them into your own music. Keep on doing this and you will start to come up with your own chord vocabulary that you really enjoy. You will also start to get an  ear for which chord progression are cliche/overused and which ones are unique/special.

A young 14 year old me with a really bad haircut. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5eMbftWV75w

rg2720

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Re: Chord Progression Help!!
« Reply #3 on: April 03, 2017, 09:30:14 am »
There are two ways:

1. Listen intently to the music you've heard growing up, and try to find chord progression that evoke those feelings. Spend hours upon hours experimenting with random chord progressions by picking chords from those charts at random, and keep track of the ones you like and the ones you don't. Put in notes based on how they sound together, and keep messing with the placements of notes in successive chords to try and get them to work together.

2. Take the time to actually study traditional music theory. Enroll in some classes and/or find a tutor, and start learning. Learn why those charts exist in the first place, then learn how things start to blur as you add in more advanced concepts. Learn how those charts represent a much older structure to compositional theory, and how modern composers and songwriters tweak it to play with our expectations.

Both can get you to the same end point, but one leaves you with a lot of incomplete knowledge and potentially takes a lot longer.

Isnt that diagram you linked only for Major keys? Though it would be different for Minor keys...

Mussar

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Re: Chord Progression Help!!
« Reply #4 on: April 03, 2017, 04:55:46 pm »
I didn't link the diagram, but the changes from major to minor are only in how those chords are labeled, not what number they are.

Just to give a quick primer on reading roman numeral chords - capital is major, lower case is minor. If there's a degree sign (°) next to the lower case, it's a diminished chord. If there's a plus sign (+) next to the upper case, it's an augmented chord.

In Major, the diatonic chords are I, ii, iii, IV, V, vi, vii°, I. In Natural Minor, the diatonic chords are i, ii°, III, iv, v, VI, VII, i.

I also try to avoid that sort of chord flow chart because, as the label on it says, it's a "simple" map and adheres to a very rigid order that isn't always followed.

For beginners, I actually prefer something my harmony teacher gave us that he called the function triangle -



It works similarly to the flow chart, but imo feels less restrictive in your options while adhering to the same concepts. All you need to do is follow 3 rules.

1.  Start on I. You may jump from I to any chord, or jump from any chord on one side to any chord on the same side (you can jump between ii, IV, and vi as much as you want, and between iii, V, and vii° as much as you want - unless you land on V).
2. You may move clockwise by one side (From I to ii/IV/vi, from ii/IV/vi to iii/V/vii°, or from iii/V/vii° to I), but you cannot (until you learn how) move backwards.
3. When you get to V, you have to go to I.

Obviously there are exceptions and variations on this, but if you follow that chart you'll never get lost. Once you get comfortable with it, you can experiment with things like tricking people by going from V to vi instead of I!

rg2720

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Re: Chord Progression Help!!
« Reply #5 on: April 04, 2017, 09:43:04 am »
Thats very interesting.

And this works for minor scales as well?

I ask because I bought the Hook Theory course and it showd me all these great tricks - but they are next to useless as they only applied to Major scales. I only use minor scales in my music...

Mussar

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Re: Chord Progression Help!!
« Reply #6 on: April 04, 2017, 01:57:22 pm »
As I said - the only changes from major to minor are the quality of the chords. I gave you the symbols for the chords of Natural Minor, and you can just re-draw the triangle and replace them. The function of the chords remains the same, and you can follow the exact same rules.