Chord Progression Composition

(Using Scale Degrees p.1)

1. Choose a root from the circle of fifths: C, G, D, A, E, B, F#; F, Bb, Eb, Ab, Db, Gb
2. Decide if the key should be major or minor (e.g. E minor)
3. Write treble clef and accidentals of the chosen key onto the staff (called the ‘key signature’)

Chord Progression Composition for Guitar

Note: Major and minor keys, which share the same key signature, are said to be ‘relatives’ of each other (e.g. G major is the relative major of E minor, and E minor is the relative minor of G major).
Rule: Root of major – 3 half steps = Root of minor key (e.g. G major – 3 half steps = E minor)

4. Draw the seven notes of the chosen key starting with the root onto the staff. Name the notes and number them with roman numeral underneath (called the ‘degree’ of a scale). In this example we’ve chosen the key of E major:

Chord Progression Composition for Guitar

And here it’s in E minor:

Chord Progression Composition for Guitar

Note: Degrees are numbered according to the ‘Nashville Numbering System’, where roman numeral correspond to the chromatic scale starting with the root of the chosen key (chromatic scale = a scale containing all half steps).

Example of the chromatic scale in E:

Chord Progression Composition for Guitar
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