Sequences of chords, and the relationship of one chord to the next

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48
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9answers
2k views

How do professional accompanying musicians (seem to) figure out songs instantly?

Sometimes, when I'm watching any TV show which has a live hired band for accompanying and they have a musician guest, the host will ask for them to sing something on spot (that wasn't really planned), ...
34
votes
4answers
6k views

What are some chord substitutions for a I-IV-V blues progression?

I was watching a video of SRV and one of the things that really stood out was the fact that he seemed to have a different iteration of the I-IV-V turnaround - and made it look/sound effortless. Any ...
19
votes
3answers
2k views

What are some common jazz chord progressions?

What are some common progressions for Jazz improvisation? I have been playing with ii-V-I and variations -- what are some others? Is the answer here just to really dig through standards until I've ...
16
votes
4answers
6k views

How to turn any (pop) song into a jazz song?

Quite often there are pop songs wich get covered in a jazz style. These covers are seen from youtube to tv. Now I tried doing something like this, with for example Bad Day by Daniel Powter. It's ...
16
votes
1answer
612 views

Are there any machine-readable databases of chord progressions available?

I'm interested in doing some linguistics-inspired computational musicology on chord progressions and am wondering if there are any freely available databases of chord progressions. Obviously, I could ...
14
votes
3answers
2k views

How can I generate nice-sounding random chord progressions?

I'm trying to write a computer program to generate simple random chord progressions. Is there a way of ranking chords based on how nice they will sound after the previous ones? Any advice would be ...
14
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3answers
563 views

How to algorithmically find a chord progression for an infinite arbitrary melody?

My question is primarily about this piano performance: ...
13
votes
4answers
739 views

Why do these progressions sound good?

I have always wondered why these progressions sound so exiting. I don't really know how the I-IV-things work, so I'll just write the chords. An explanation of what's really going on would be much ...
13
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4answers
916 views

C#m in Am chord progression

I was listening to this song; ...
11
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6answers
470 views

My ear is not very well trained - what can I look for as easy hints when trying to identify a ii-V-I progression in blues music?

I'm looking to learn how to better analyze music I am listening to, and I'm having problems identifying ii-V-I progressions, especially when they're the basis for improvisation. What are some hints or ...
11
votes
1answer
261 views

What are some good/interesting ways to exit a circle of fifths section?

Circle of 5ths is in tons of chord progressions, sounds nice and 'easy', etc. But if you keep going on it the song can sound unreasonably predictable. What are some good ways to use a little bit of ...
9
votes
3answers
705 views

How to interpret this chord notation?

How do you interpret this couple of notations? In Bar 2, Fm / Ab, what does the slash do? Do I play either chord or both? In addition, in Bar 3, what does the /9 mean? Thanks
8
votes
1answer
607 views

What is this called? Why is it allowed?

"Golden Train" by Justin Nozuka (YouTube link below) is in the key of Ab major. However he uses a Cb major chord throughout the song, which is not in the key of Ab major. It sounds good and works ...
8
votes
2answers
609 views

Why play out of scale notes as part of a chord?

So, I'm learning 'Stray Cat Strut' right now and came across something I'm not sure I understood. I have to say, I've only just begun to learn theory, so maybe that's why. Anyway, as far as I can ...
8
votes
4answers
187 views

Guide-lines for creating a simple chord-progression?

I am working on a computer program that generates a simple melody, based on a simple chord progression of four chords taken from the 7 triads of the C Major scale. The program is also supposed to ...
7
votes
2answers
248 views

In chord progressions, how can I refer to a chord that's out of the scale?

I'm training a music that is most on the G Major scale.. But then there's a B chord. As B is not on the G Major scale, how can I refer to it when I'm writing the chord progression? EDIT My guess is ...
7
votes
3answers
607 views

Why does this key change work?

In the song 'Respect' by Aretha Franklin which is a fairly simple progression in Bb major the saxophone solo part of the song seems to make a key change to the key of Em. I don't understand why this ...
7
votes
1answer
253 views

When was the deceptive cadence introduced?

Bach used the Deceptive Cadence as early as his Passacaglia and Fugue in C minor, BWV 582, which dates to the early 18th century. Are there earlier uses? A definitive answer may be impossible, but I ...
6
votes
2answers
863 views

What does it mean when progression is resolved?

I saw this text inside a very basic piano workbook in which I'm not sure what the author means by using "resolve". Progression #1: C-F-G-F-C NOTE: This 4 bar progression resolves back to C ...
6
votes
3answers
307 views

Looking for letter-based chord identification algorithms, and related literature

I'm searching for chord recognition algorithms that will assign a chord name(s) to a group of notes, and related literature. I'm not looking for programs that do this. I'm looking for the algorithm, ...
6
votes
2answers
571 views

“Andalusian cadences”: How are they commonly heard?

The "Andalusian cadence" I-bVII-bVI-V is commonly heard as a repeated figure in Flamenco music as well as many pop songs, e.g. "Hit the Road, Jack": ...
5
votes
3answers
300 views

Nashville numbers in major vs minor keys

Some songs refer to their key as specifically major or minor, but others use both the major and relative minor as key centers, in an even enough proportion where it can be hard to say whether the I ...
5
votes
3answers
254 views

Composing a song in Cm with major chord substitutes

I am composing a song in Cm with a very basic chord progression of I-IV-I. So, normally, in Cm, that would be Cm7-Fm7-Cm7, but I am actually playing Cm7-F7-Cm7. First of all, why does this work? This ...
5
votes
2answers
726 views

What is this chord (spelled 2nd, 4th, 5th) and how is it used?

For the piano/composers: I compose music for the piano in my spare time, and one particular chord that has caught my attention (as one that I like a lot) is the D-F-G chord in C Major. I have seen ...
5
votes
4answers
421 views

Uses for augmented chords in composition

I've been studying for music theory for many years and I enjoy just writing little chord progressions and melodies to see what certain progressions sound like and how interesting I can make them. The ...
5
votes
5answers
305 views

How long should each chord in a chord progression be played?

For example I am making a 16 bar chord progression for a verse of a song and choose to use the I , IV , V chords of a major scale.. How can I put these chords in a nice rythm so they sound good and ...
5
votes
1answer
3k views

Ic-V-I perfect cadence progression SATB part writing rules

I am studying Music at AS-level - we have to harmonise a soprano line (in any style we wish I believe) with the alto, tenor and bass parts. One possible perfect cadence I have been taught is the ...
5
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2answers
206 views

Composing chord progressions for samba

I know that there are questions on samba chords, samba rhythm, samba shapes and samba melody but, as far as I am aware, this site does not have a question about the tonality and harmony of samba ...
4
votes
2answers
246 views

How is 12-bar blues harmonically possible?

How is 12-bar blues harmonically possible? Cmaj scale doesn't really have a C7 - F7 - G7. Is it done by borrowing chords from other modes? There seems to be a C7 in C mixolydian, F7 in C dorian and G7 ...
4
votes
3answers
713 views

How to make songs with chords that don't belong in a scale?

I've always wondered how come there can be a chord progression with some chord that doesn't belong in the particular scale... Moreover, how can it be possible that this progression is in any key at ...
4
votes
1answer
295 views

What's so special about III ?

Take a C major scale, and pick each other note, starting from each note C-D-EF-G-A-BC-D-EF I: C E G = C ii: D F A = Dm iii: E G B ...
4
votes
4answers
192 views

How to analyze music outside of common practice harmony?

I'm familiar enough with common practice harmony, its rules and methods for diatonically harmonizing the scale, tonicizing scale degrees and modulating into new keys. But these tools seem to lose ...
4
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2answers
658 views

Harmony analysis program

Is there any computer program that automatically analyzes harmony given the score? By harmony, I of course mean, 'I', 'III, 'IV' etc.. and their connection.
3
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4answers
233 views

“I-vi” in Major or “III-i” in Minor?

There are some progressions that seem to move back and forth between a major key and its relative minor, like the "I-vi" progression (C, Am for example, two measures each.) Most people would consider ...
3
votes
4answers
124 views

I-IV-V blues progression

I'm currently learning a 12 bar blues rhythm and am getting confused by it. The solo is played over the A minor pentatonic scale. And the underlying chord progression is A - D - E. But isn't this ...
3
votes
3answers
344 views

Musical Harmony: When to use more than three chords

I understand that I, IV, and V chords in both major and minor keys are common chords that make up a good progression. I understand that those 3 chords cover all the notes diatonic to the key that we ...
3
votes
4answers
811 views

What's the theory behind switching modes during a passage?

Look, at the following two chord progressions (or better yet, play them): (1) Dm C Bb Am Gm F Em Am (2) Dm C Bb Am Gm F E A Now, for the first six measures in both (1) and (2), we're just ...
3
votes
1answer
446 views

Does the three chord trick always end a chord progression on the third chord?

It seems almost a redundant question, but the meat of it is this: If one is using the three chord trick, is it stylistically required by rules of theory and phrasing to end the progression on the ...
3
votes
1answer
167 views

What is this chord progression? (youtube inside)

We are trying to cover this classic 1996 Eminem track "313" but for the life of me I cannot figure out this chord progression. I'm hoping someone can help! ...
3
votes
0answers
260 views

Breakdown of Ray Charles' “swinganova” style?

In the liner notes to Ray Charles' collected country and western recordings, there is a section on how the popularity of bossa nova beats led him to come up with the more soul-accented version in his ...
2
votes
4answers
191 views

How would you interpret this chord progression?

Ok, To be Specific I'm looking for Key Chord Types With Degree I've included both keyless and how I understand it. My Interpretation so far To me it's obvious that this Key is B, which would ...
2
votes
2answers
194 views

Creating Happy Melodies and Chords

I've been listening to a track, such as this https://soundcloud.com/wave-racer/flight-facilities-stand and it seems to have a very happy vibe about it, to the extent where it's "over happy". But I ...
2
votes
2answers
684 views

Playing the “fail” sound effect on a guitar?

I have looked around for the notes or chords to play the typical three note (wah wah wah) fail sound effect. I believe it's typically played on a trombone which gives it that great slide effect. In ...
2
votes
2answers
262 views

how does the bluegrass major chord built off of the flat 7 “work”?

It's in almost every bluegrass song, but I've never seen an exposition of the theory behind the major chord (minor may also be used, but I don't think I've seen it) built off of the flat 7th of the ...
1
vote
5answers
1k views

Learning how to be a good rhythm guitarist before becoming a lead guitarist, where to start?

I have recently been trying to hone in my improvisational skills. I'm stuck in the first position of the Am pentatonic box and can't move away from it. Whenever I try to move out of it, I randomize ...
1
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3answers
300 views

What is meant by this chord progression description?

Basic question, I understand the ideas of modes and that there are 7 corresponding keys within each major/minor scale, but I'm trying to learn what exactly is meant when the chord progression is ...
1
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1answer
407 views

What is a root movement by fourth in chord progression

I'm reading music theory for computer musician and in chapter 18 they talk about chord progression and root movement by fourth, second and third. So it makes sense for the second and third, but for ...
1
vote
1answer
191 views

Which scales to use on complex chord progressions?

According to this article, it is possible to make a chord progression by just keeping one tone that remains constant in all chords of the progression. Also, it gives these examples: Cadd9 F6 D G ...
0
votes
2answers
547 views

bass chord progressions in “Killing me softly”

This is kind of a follow up question to this question I have trancribes the bass line: The chords are: G7(no 3) - G - C - F- Dm - G - Am - A(single note) Which in roman numeral (if the scale is A ...
0
votes
1answer
260 views

Oasis - Supersonic Harmonic analysis (What modes are played, explaining modulations and pivots function as roman analysis)

Song can be played as: Main Riff: F#m(F#5) A B Bridge: E Riff E C#7 Chorus: D A E F#7, D A E C#7 -> Main Riff Again I am struggling on harmonic functions. I am not sure whether the song ...