The secret to the musical universe is chord maps. When it comes to creating chord progressions, musicians face similar challenges.
The musical key attributes are already a shortcut. This allows you to match certain emotions with specific keys in order to get the feeling you want in your song. What about the next step?
A chord progression is still necessary for your song. These chord diagrams allow you to pick your starting point, and then travel in any direction until the progression returns to the root.
The Old Ways of Finding Chord Progressions
This is a route you’ve probably traveled before. There is a lot out there, and it’s not all bad advice. However, it can be confusing for those who don’t know music theory.
It’s not common for us to use classical notation and find the chords that match our inversions. Then we check to see if they resolve. We don’t know how to navigate the Circle of Fifths. What am I supposed do with all this?
It is easiest to find a song with the right feeling and then to remove the chord progression. This can lead to you sounding just like everyone else. Professional releases do this in order for their listeners to feel familiar.
This is not what you want if you are trying to climb the ladder. It’s often quite basic. It’s not a good idea to appear as an amateur or copycat.
What’s the solution?
Chord maps are the best method. You have two options: you can either follow a generalized map that covers all musical keys or you can use a specific to the key in which you are writing. The generalized map is the best.
It looks daunting at first. You can simplify the process until you feel comfortable with it. There is a risk that your songs will sound similar to other songs or like them after a while.
It works this way…
Follow the arrows to any chord until you reach the home chord.
Once you have added the bubbles outside, and started playing with the chord inversions, adding the suspended chords, and so forth. You’ll be amazed at the number of options available and how they all sound great. You won’t fall into the trap of copy-cats where everyone is writing the same song over and again.
The best thing about this is that you will expand your instrument repertoire. As you master the chords, your skill level will rise. This will increase your ability to remember other songs.
You’ll eventually learn this chart and be able to create progressions in mid-air. Your band mates will think you are a genius in music theory.
You’re a chart savant, but that’s not the truth. They don’t have to know this secret… Have some fun!