Composition of chord progressions

(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’)

C major
A minor
G major
E minor
D major
B minor
A major
F# minor
E major
C# minor
B major
G# minor
F# major
D minor
C major
A minor
F major
D minor
Bb major
G minor
Eb major
C minor
Ab major
F minor
Db major
Bb minor
Gb major
Eb minor

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 numerals underneath (called the ‘degree’ of a scale). In this example we’ve chosen the key of E major:

Note:
E
F#
G#
A
B
C#
D#
Degree:
I
II
III
IV
V
VI
VII
And here it’s in E minor:
Note:
E
F#
G
A
B
C
D
Degree:
I
II
bIII
IV
V
bVI
bVII
Note: Degrees are numbered according to the ‘Nashville Numbering System’, where roman numerals 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:

Note: E F F# G G# A A# B C C# D D#
Degree: I bII II bIII III IV bV V bVI VI bVII VII
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