Hello music makers and welcome to this 7h episode of music theory in 5 minutes.
So far weve talked a lot about intervals scales and how to create chords, so today it is time to put that all together and talk about how to use these chords to build good chord progressions.
To build a music, we'll build a chain of chords, that we'll play in a certain order, with a certain rhythm. These is chains of chords are called chord progressions, and there are certain rules, or tendencies rather, that you can follow to build them.
I actually don't really like to call them "rules" because following them is not an obligation. Music theory hasn't been built as a set of rigid set of rules that you must follow. It's the music that has been made first and then we tried to find why certain things were working and those "rules" has been deduced from that.
It is part of the fun to try to break certain rules while making music. But following them is just a higher rate of success, so I guess it's better to know the rules before trying to break them? It's better to understand what you're doing to do it better? True in anything. Life lesson. Music is full of life lesson.
Anyway so each chord of the scale has a number that we call degrees, related to the number of the note in the scale.
From there you can put together a chain of chords using the chords in the scale you're using.
All the chords are from the same scale, the same tonality, it should work just fine.
For example, a very famous chord progression is the anatole. The anatole goes I IV II V.
Originally an anatole is a chord progression on 32 bar, but most of the time when we talk about an anatole, we talk about this little chord progression on 2 bars. It's been used a lot, in a lot of very famous songs like...
Apparently this chord progression comes from the song "i got rhythm" by... and has become a classic among jazzmen who use this chord progression for jams and improvisation. Actually the term anatole is more a french name, in english it's referred as "rhythm change" which is a short for "chord changes from I got rhythm"
Some degrees in the scale will be sensed in a particular way, bringing different colours to the progression. Some will bring tension and some will bring resolution.
The chord V, which is called the dominant, will create a tension that will want to be resolved by going back to the chord I, the home chord.
This is because the first note and the fifth note of the scale have a special relationship, they are very consonant, so if the I is the home you search, V is like neighbour's home. When you see it you know you're almost there.
So the Vth degree brings a tension and the Ist degree brings a resolution
And this tensions and resolutions are something you want to play a lot with. Because writing music, I guess is a bit like writing a dialogue. Parts of your chains of chords or a melodic line would be sentences, and there would questions, answers and suppositions.
And some chord progressions that has been used a lot has become very recognizable and can be used like punctuation to build our sentences. These little chord progressions are called cadences.
The progression that goes V => I is called a authentic cadence. It's often prepared by a II, so the full authentic cadence would be II => V => I.
In C major, which is all the white keys of a keyboard, that makes Dm => G => C
This is the most conclusive cadence, it acts like a full stop in a sentence. It's a good cadence to end a song for example, it's very conclusive, we finish with a big resolution.
If your sentence ends on the V. So often II => V, you prepare it like a perfect cadence but you stop on the V, like an unfinished cadence, you stay hanging in the air. This is called a half cadence, and it acts like a question mark or a comma. It creates a sentence that finishes on a little tension, and need to be answered.
You can also prepare an authentic cadence but instead of going the Ist degree, you go to a different degree. That is called a deceptive cadence - or an interrupted cadence.
The first degree is often replaced by the chord of the VIth degree.
So in C major that would be Dm G Am
This is not a conclusive cadense, it's like we prepare the end of the sentence, but at the last moment we continue it for a little longer.
The deceptive cadence is a great tool to break the expectations and add an element of surprise, to shift the mood of a sentence for example.
The last cadence we'll see here is when the progression goes IV => I.
It is called the plagal cadence. It is a conclusive cadense, that will sound like the end of a sentence, but it's as conclusive than the authentic V => I
It is used a lot in rock music for example
Now let's try to make a chord progression by taking advantage of these cadences.
OK, let's by start by picking some chord at random to kick start our creativity.
So between 1 and 7, we have 4, 2, 7 and 3.
Cool that'd be our main chord progression, and I'll copy that 4 times to have 4 line. At the end of each line I'll insert the different cadences we saw. A half cadence, a plagal cadence, an interrupted cadence and an authentic cadence.
On the first line, I'll squeeze the 7 and the 3 in the same bar to have room to finish on a 5, that's our half cadence.
On the second line I'll replace the 3 by a 4, and squeeze it in the same bar than the 7 to have room to finish on a 1. So we have a 4 to 1, that's our plagal cadence.
On the third line I'll prepare the interrupted cadence just like a authentic cadence, I'll put the 5 at the very end of the line so it finishes on the first beat of the next line, that will sound more conclusive. Except I land on a 6 instead of a 1 on the next bar, that's our interrupted cadence.
For the last line I'll do exactly the same thing, except I'll land on a 1, so we finish on a nice authentic cadence. In the last line, I also replaced the 2 and the 7 by a 5 and a 4, to have that nice decent of 6, 5, 4, 3.
There we have our chord progression with the 4, 2, 7, that will be the core of our pregression, then first we have a half cadence that bring a bit of suspention, then the a plagal candence that bring a little resolution. Then we have a interrupted cadence, that adds some motion, with a bit of variety there, and we finish on an authentic cadence that is more conclusive.
For this chord progression I decided to do it in the tonality of C minor, because minor is cool. And when you're in a minor tonality, you can make the V chords major when they prepare a cadence, even though they're supposed to be minor in these tonalities. It add tension and make these cadences better. I'll explain why more in details in the next video, but just so you know, I made these two last 5s chords major.
So in C minor, this is the chord progression we end up with.
Play that with a rhythm, add a bass, a drum and a little melody on top, and here is one way this can sound.
You can also play any of these Vth degree chord in their dominant 7th form to add some tension. And we'll see that a bit more in detail in the next video.
Now you know everything on the cadences, use them wisely. Knowledge is power, a great power means a great responsibility.
In the meantime, if you found this vise useful or if you liked it, give it a like, subscribe if you don't want to miss the next videos. Thanks for watching, I have been woochia and I'll see you next time!