• Fur Affinity Forums are governed by Fur Affinity's Rules and Policies. Links and additional information can be accessed in the Site Information Forum.

How do you write a chord progression?

Rigby

Diaperfurs 4 Lyfe
I have just a few general chord progression questions, surely some fellow furry musicians/composer have the answers!

1. Why do people typically Use a variation of I-IV-V for the chorus/verse, and a variation of vi-ii-iii for the bridge? Why is that so popular?

2. Why do you have to use this set of chords: I-ii-iii-IV-V-vi-vii° ? What if I didn't want to? How do you properly use a different chord in your music in place of these?

3. Once you have a chord progression, how do you write a bassline and a melody based on it (without just playing the root notes)?

Feel free to answer in the form of an external link, list, or free form paragraph!
 

Kalmor

Banned
Banned
It's a little late for me to be teaching music theory. I'll post more tomorrow but I will say that 1. people just think that progression sounds "right".
 

Rigby

Diaperfurs 4 Lyfe
It's a little late for me to be teaching music theory. I'll post more tomorrow but I will say that 1. people just think that progression sounds "right".

Okay, I'll definitely look forward to reading your post tomorrow! However, I heard it had something to do with the intervals of the chords (like the interval of V to I is a perfect authentic cadence or something like that) and that's why they were used, but I'll assume you'll cover it more tomorrow.
 

Kalmor

Banned
Banned
Okay, I'll definitely look forward to reading your post tomorrow! However, I heard it had something to do with the intervals of the chords (like the interval of V to I is a perfect authentic cadence or something like that) and that's why they were used, but I'll assume you'll cover it more tomorrow.
Yeah. Some end with a perfect (authentic) cadence since it gives the strongest feeling of resolution and ending.
 

pukedshark

NO MERCY FOR LOSERS
This is really short, but this is my take.

1. Because it sounds good and is easy to play. Perfect cadences sound good.
2. You don't really HAVE to follow the guidelines that music theory says are rules. There aren't really any rules to what you can and can't do. That's pretty much what innovative music has been doing since before the 1900s, not following conventional guidelines of theory and just doing what sounds good. That's what I try to do. Being normal is bad, and it doesn't make you stand out. Though this doesn't mean that you have to go bat shit insane and do crazy stuff like I II+ iii IV v° and things like that. The point I'm trying to make I guess is don't let trends of chord progression run your writing. Do what sounds good and feels right!
3. For bass, partial arpeggios are a good place to start. Not complete ones, but just like here or there a note in it's arpeggio shows up. It really depends what you're writing, but that's just kinda really basic for electronic stuff. As a bassist, I tend to write really overly complicated bass lines that don't stick to the root or even the arpeggio very much, and am not good at explaining things at all. Music runs in my family, so I kind of have an inborn sense of what sounds good but can't really explain it.

I have no idea if this helped but that's the best I can do.
 

Demensa

Characterless sack of potatoes
DISCLAIMER: I do not know any music theory

1. People don't typically use a variation of I-IV-V for the chorus/verse, and a variation of vi-ii-iii for the bridge in all of music, although I recognise the point that you're trying to make: that it is very popular.
As people have said above, it sounds good. The chord progression is very simple and easy to follow, very catchy and features a very simple, predictable and comfortable resolution that a person listening to pop music would appreciate.
2. There's no way to "properly" make a chord progression. Do what you want essentially. However if you want some in depth music theory on harmonic structure, progressions, scales and modes, etc. I'd recommend taking some music classes. There's many good resources online, but it's easier to have people explain things to you in person. Another thing I'll note here is that as you go further into unconventional chord progressions, your music will most likely end up in a subgenre of jazz.
3. Basically what pukedshark said is good for writing basslines; use the arpeggio of the chord and if you want to get more adventurous add notes from whatever scales you want which will fit with the chord you are using. It also depends on the type of music you want to compose.

For melody you usually pick notes that fit within the scale of whatever chord is playing (or the tonic in that progression). For example, I just did a cheesy little sample using a II-V-I-vi progression. For the first part I lay a very basic bassline using only the arpeggio of each chord (boooring). The piano melody on top is just the G major scale (tonic) which again is very plain. For the second sample I used the same progression, just a little 'jazzier' for lack of a better word. I used A7, D7/9, G, E7. For the bassline, I utilised some of the scale notes that weren't part of the arpeggio and made use of chromatic runs to give it a bit of a walking bassline feel. The melody is mostly based on the A minor pentatonic scale with some more chromatic runs to give it a jazzy feel.
This is just a very simple example of one possible song writing process (The sample itself is not good, just an example.)
There are so many other ways of writing songs, and none of them is more correct than the other.

So I guess my advice for writing melodies is that it's good to know some scales.
 

Aden

Play from your ****ing HEART
Always remember: music theory is not a set of rules. It simply describes. Do what you want
 

Rigby

Diaperfurs 4 Lyfe
For melody you usually pick notes that fit within the scale of whatever chord is playing (or the tonic in that progression). For example, I just did a cheesy little sample using a II-V-I-vi progression. For the first part I lay a very basic bassline using only the arpeggio of each chord (boooring). The piano melody on top is just the G major scale (tonic) which again is very plain. For the second sample I used the same progression, just a little 'jazzier' for lack of a better word. I used A7, D7/9, G, E7. For the bassline, I utilised some of the scale notes that weren't part of the arpeggio and made use of chromatic runs to give it a bit of a walking bassline feel. The melody is mostly based on the A minor pentatonic scale with some more chromatic runs to give it a jazzy feel.

Wow, that's cool. Thanks.
 

elegastaanval

New Member
it all depends. it's a LOT easier if you are familiar with music theory and have played an instrument or two.

on guitar, i usually write lyrics, and then guitar chords make a good harmony with the lyrics, or a melody that sounds good with the lyrics.. then the bassline can have either a harmony or a counter melody (which is what i prefer). it all depends on the type of song you are trying to write. with a little more info i could be a lot more helpful.
 
Top