How To Create Chord Progressions
Over the last couple of months I’ve been trying something new. First off, I’ll play around with two or three chords that I like – generally using the circle of fifths as something of a reference point (more on that another time). Then I’ll actually type those two or three chords into a Google search and see what comes up – and generally there will be a whole bunch of songs that include those chords. I’ll then check out what other chords are used in those songs – but I never listen to the songs to avoid duplicating the sound/feel of what that artist has done with them.
My song “Senses” is a good example. I’d come up with an A/Bm7/C#m7/Bm7 progression but didn’t know where to go next. Punch those chords into Google and songs by Michael Jackson, Prefab Sprout, Elton John and Savage Garden popped up (amongst others)! D cropped up in a couple, as did Dm – so I mucked around with both and before I knew it those two chords (together with an A) created a chorus pattern.
Cheating? I think of it more as a shortcut that can lead to some interesting results, but nothing that I couldn’t have done with a broader music theory knowledge (and I do try and work out the theory behind why those chords work, so at least I’m learning a bit of theory each time).