How To Write A Chord Progression

chord progressionLearning how to write a chord progression is easy and I'm going to show you how.

When it comes to writing a chord progression, a lot of songwriters think to themselves “I will just wing it. If it sounds good, it will work.”

Now, there is some truth to this. At the end of the day, when writing a song, it is all about what sounds good to you. However, when it comes to learning how to write chord progressions there are some things to keep in mind.

Let me show you.

How To Write A Chord Progression - Taking a Walk

One of the most common analogies for writing a chord progression involves comparing it to going for a walk. This analogy is so common because it is easy to remember and it makes sense.

Taking a walk has a pattern of how things go in a proper order to make sense, and so does writing a chord progression. There are four key components to a chord progression, and the same can be said of a walk. They are:

  1. The tonic chord (the I-chord of the key) is your base of operations. Think of it as your house. The place you begin your walk, and the place you return to at the end.
  2. The dominant (V) is your front doorstep. You cross your doorstep on the way in and the way out.
  3. The predominant area (ii, IV, et al) is like the sidewalk. This is the area you are really going to stretch your legs out on your walk.
  4. The ultimate harmonic (iii, vi, etc.) is your destination. This is where you are ultimately going on your journey.

Here is the great thing though: it doesn’t matter how you get to your destination, as long as you can always find your way home, you can keep your walk diverse and interesting.


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