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I am trying to compose an intimate song to be played by an acoustic guitar (and a piano at most) related to the genre of "bolero" or "jazz", perhaps with traces of "fado". Something with the vibes of these songs:

​ I thought about this progression:

​ (Key: C Major)

Verse:

Cmaj7 | Dm7 | Fm7 | G7

Cmaj7 | Dm7 | Fm7 | G7

Pre-Chorus:

Dm7 | G7 | Cmaj7 | E7

Am7 | D7 | Gsus2 | G7

Chorus:

Cmaj7 | Am7 | Dm7 | G7

Cmaj7 | Am7 | Dm7 | G7

Fmaj7 | G7 | Em7 | Am7

Fmaj7 | G7 | Cmaj7

Outro:

Cmaj7 | B7 | Em | Am7| G7

Fmaj7 | Em7 | Am7 | A7

Fmaj7 | G7 | Cmaj7 ​

However I feel is a bit too plain or simple, too cheerful (it does not evoke the typical nostalgia of these kind of songs) and almost no tension. If anyone has any suggestions to add or change some chords (or even change the song completely if necessary) that would be very much appreciated!

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    Hi vengaq. The main site doesn't evaluate or offer opinions on compositions, but the chat room would be an appropriate place to get feedback.
    – Aaron
    Jul 13, 2023 at 23:45

1 Answer 1

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Okay - first off, bear in mind that I am a jazz pianist with an affinity for the experimental.

from what I have read, you want to increase the harmonic complexity of the piece. I'll give you some options but I recommend spending a lot of time learning about harmony because there are SO many options.

I'm going to have to over intellectualise this to make it prescriptive enough for you to play straight away, but this isn't the approach I would recommend for learning. Play around and see what feels right.

Let's start with the 5 shall we?

G7#9b13 on the G chord, play 1, 3 and 7 in the left hand, #9 b13 and #9 again in the right hand. before you drop back to the 1, with the #9 that you should be playing with your little finger in your right hand, drop down to the b9 with your right hand ring finger. emotion wise I would call this... Bitter longing? I don't know haha sounds good though

alternatively just try a g7#5 its easy peasy and tense.

This is an awesome sound, really intense, really fun to improv over.

working our way back down to the one, what could we play...

Try a c6 in your left hand, so 1 on your little finger, 3 on the middle finger and thumb on the 6. with your right hand you now have options, but I would keep it light, so just hit the 2(aka 9) with your right index finger and the 5 with your little finger.

You should be playing the notes c, e, a, d, g, in that order. Kind of a dreamy chord.

thinking about it it could sound nice to go between that and a d minor with a Dmb5#5add9,11,13 which is just d, f ( although I wouldnt play this, ab, a#, <- left hand, and c, e, g right hand.

recommendation for the d minor - a little experimental, but try d, g, c, e, a, d, which is a quartal.

If you want to talk more about how to learn to solo over these or chat about chords, or just want a better explanation of the chords: [email protected]

  • would love to hear you play your song :)

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