Chord Progression Composition

(Using Scale Degrees p.2)

 
5. Now let's build triads by stacking two thirds onto each note. As a result we’re getting all the basic chords of an E major scale (also known as ‘harmonised scale’):

Chord Progression Composition for Guitar

 
Or in the case of E minor:

Chord Progression Composition for Guitar

 
6. By stacking another third we’re getting ‘7th’ chords. In E major:

Chord Progression Composition for Guitar

 
In E minor:

Chord Progression Composition for Guitar

 
7. After all preparation has been completed, let’s start the actual writing process. The first measure usually begins with degree I (in E that’s either E major or E minor). In the following measures any degree out of the harmonised scale can be inserted, while the last measure often ends with degree V. Here’s an example using the degrees of E major:

Chord Progression Composition for guitar

To spice up things not only chords out of the original key (E major in this case) should be used, but also from its parallel neighbour (E minor). This modulation between major and minor scale degrees is known under the term ‘modal interchange’.

Chord Progression Composition for Guitar

On the next page we’ll have a look at a finished chord composition. The layout used is called a ‘rhythm chart’. These charts contain no melodies but all rhythms and chords of a tune, hence its name.

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