Chord Progression Learning Tool
Played by real musicians
These audio tracks are meant to give you a realistic feel in various styles for how each progression might be used in a band setting.
Hopefully this will give you a bunch of options for stringing together chords in an easy-to-remember way.
Instructions: are to the rightOnce you've generated a chord progression you like, pop open the chord-finder to find several ways of playing each of the chords or pop open the arpeggiator to see each chord charted out over the entire guitar fretboard.
- Pick a desired style, key and progression.
- Click or tap the Load Selected button to see the staff below change to your selected progression and style.
- Click or tap the play button below the staff to listen to the progression.
- To loop the progression, click at the beginning of the measure you wish to start the loop and drag to the end of the last measure of your desired loop area. Suggested loop areas are noted below.
Definition of a Chord
A chord is defined as 3 or more notes sounded together. Any 3 different notes is a chord. Chord types are determined by other factors. There are lessons in the free lessons area with more detailed explanation of chord types.
A chord progression is a self-defined term. It's simply a progression of chord changes. There are no rules regarding what you are 'supposed to do' where chord progressions are concerned but most educated musicians have learned an organized approach for categorizing them.
The Numbering System for chord progressions
Major, Minor and Diminished chords are built using the notes from any major scale very easily. By stacking every third note of the scale, you'll see the resulting notes of each chord.
Below is an example using the C major scale. The notes of the C major scale are:
C D E F G A B C
Click the "NEXT" button to see a brief animation.
The above shows the C major scale and the resulting chords formed by stacking every third note. The numbers, 1 through 8, correspond to the major scale. So, you can see that in the key of C, the 1, 4 and 5 chords are naturally major chords and the 2, 3 and 6 chords are naturally minor chords. The 7 chord is a diminished chord.
In fact, in every major key that is the case. So, let's say you are playing a song in the key of C that is a 1, 6m, 2m, 5 progression and it's just a little too high for you to sing along with. All you need to do in order to find the chords that correspond to that in the key of A, for example, is to select the A root note in the Progressionator and reload the chord progression. The notes in the A major scale are:
A B C# D E F# G# A
So, the chords in the key of A are:
A Bm C#m D E F#m G#dim
Hope that helps to give you a really high-level view of chords and chord progressions.