Is it necessary to have a chord progression in a track or is it okay to just have the chord progression as an outline?

closed as primarily opinion-based by Tim, Shevliaskovic, Richard, Matthew Read Jul 25 '17 at 20:39

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    Can you elaborate? Not sure what "track" and "outline" is referring to exactly – Kolob Canyon Jul 23 '17 at 18:38
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    Nothing is necessary, everything is optional. If it sounds good then it is good. – Todd Wilcox Jul 23 '17 at 19:19

Not all songs have chord progressions implemented in them. Those that don't use chord progressions as an outline, however, are usually chaotic and random. It's nearly always a good idea to use a chord progression as an outline. That doesn't mean you have to think about it, though. If your song follows a pattern of chords for certain areas, you're doing something right.


There are no fixed rules. Just try to provide notes that get the sound you'd like to hear.

Power chords for example just leave out the 3rd notes that define chords as major or minor.

The Blues allows the use of major and minor thirds to be used to create the emotional tension that defines a great blues solo.

So, if you want something more open like powre chords like C-G to Bb-f use clues for the chord instruments so they will avoid the major or minor voicings that change the emotional impact of your arrangement like C no 3rd, Bb no 3rd.

I played a part once that just said 4 bars of random "bell like" G's and D's... I asked the composer what he intended and he said "wind chimes".


If you like to construct your songs round a chord progression, you don't HAVE to state the chords fully. It's good to have a rhythm guitar strumming the chords. It's good to have just the tune. It's good to add just a bass line and/or a counter-melody. Your choice!

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