Ti accompagniamo per mano verso il chitarrista che vuoi essere.

Chiedi a Max
Chiedi a Max
+41788017444

Articoli

LOCARNO GUITAR LESSONS - LEZIONI E CORSI DI CHITARRA - TEL.: +41788017444 - E-MAIL: INFO@LOCARNOGUITARLESSONS.COM

How To Create Unique Chord Progressions

by Dylan Andrews



Do you ever feel like the songs you write sound the same? Are you ever frustrated or are struggling with coming upon with something new? This is an extremely common problem among songwriters. It is so easy to get stuck using the same ideas when creating your songs. A big part to why your songs aren’t sounding unique from each other are the chord progressions, specifically the rhythm of your chord progressions. The good news is that there is an easy way to create unique sounding chord progression! By using this process you will not only be able to write new sounding songs but also see similarities in chord progressions you already write and can avoid.

Before we get into this I just want to say that there is not a perfect step by step process when it comes to songwriting and creating chord progressions. There are multiple different ways to go about writing chord progressions that can be very effective, this is just one technique that I have found to work extremely well. So if you find yourself writing the same things over and over or want to try something new, try this out.

How to write a chord progression

Step 1. Choose a key


In order to create your progression, we need to know what key to write in. This way we know what our options are when putting together a chord progression. You don’t want to just choose chords at random, you want to know every chord you have to use. In this example, we will use the key of C, which includes C Dm Em F G Am B half diminished.

Step 2. Choose chords


In order to create your progression, we need to know what key to write in. This way we know what our options are when putting together a chord progression. You don’t want to just choose chords at random, you want to know every chord you have to use. In this example, we will use the key of C, which includes C Dm Em F G Am B half diminished.

Step 3. Choose what beats you would like each chord to fall on


A very common thing to do is to place each chord on beat one, as seen below.

Am______________C_______________G_______________D_______________
1___2___3___4___ 1___2___3___4___ 1___2___3___4___ 1___2___3___4___

Once you have finished this stage you are done! You have successfully written a chord progression. This is a very basic example though, these progressions can go much deeper. There is nothing wrong the progressions above but I think we can create something that is a little bit more interesting. In order to do that we can experiment with putting chords on different beats other than 1. For instance, the first chord could come on 1 and the next could come on beat 3.

Am_____C_______G_______D_______
1___2__ 3___4___ 1___2___3___4___

Or instead of beat 3, they could come on beat 4.

Am_________C___G___________D___
1___2__ 3___4___ 1___2___3___4___

You could also have 2 different rhythms. Maybe the first measure the C chord comes on beat three and then the second measure the C chord come on beat 4.

Am_____C_______G___________D___
1___2__ 3___4___ 1___2___3___4___

You need to try out a bunch of different combinations of beats and chords until you find what you like. Keep moving things around and experimenting. If you want to take it one step further you can put chord and the upbeats, these I’m referring to are eight notes. The way you count eight notes in a measure is 1 & 2 & 3 & 4 &. So instead of every chord coming on a downbeat, throw some on the upbeats. For instance, the first chord of the measure can come on one and the second one can come on the & after 2 or commonly referred to as the & of 2.

Am_________ C___________________ G___________D____________________
1___&___2___&___ 3___&___4___&___1___&___2___&___ 3___&___4___&___

Another common way to use this is to put every other chord on the & of 3.

Am__________________C___________G____________________D___________
1___&___2___&___ 3___&___4___&___1___&___2___&___ 3___&___4___&___

These, of course, are not the only options, do whatever you want! The key is to keep experimenting with it until you start finding things you really like.

If you want to go another level deep not this you can mess around with 16th notes. The way you count these are 1 e & a 2 e & a 3 e & a 4 e & a. Throwing chords on the e or a isn’t as common but can be a really cool thing. Here is an example of what you could do.

Am__________________C____________________________________________
1___e___&___a___ 2___e___&___a___3___e___&___a___ 4___e___&___a___

G___________________D____________________________________________
1___e___&___a___ 2___e___&___a___3___e___&___a___ 4___e___&___a___

NOTE: Every first chord we have used has fallen on beat 1, this does not have to be the case. You could instead have it come on beat 2 or wherever you want, there are no rules!

Analyze The Songs You Have Already Written


If you have been writing for a while or have a couple of originals under your belt and you feel that they are sounding the same then you need to look at the progressions you are writing. Odds are that each progression you are playing are either using the same chords or they are falling on the same beats. For instance, if you see that you keep writing progressions where the first chord is on one and the next is on 3, then make sure the next progression is different. Find what you write a lot and try something new! This will give you a different sound and transform your songwriting.

Spend time every day creating and finding new rhythms that you like. The more you do this the more comfortable you will get and the better your progressions will sound. Keep writing and creating!

About The Author: Dylan Andrews is a professional guitarist, teacher and entrepreneur living in Lawrenceville Georgia. Dylan has been teaching guitar for over 5 years and has helped over 100 people learn the guitar. If your looking for guitar lessons in Lawrenceville Dylan is the person you want to see.