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How Music
REALLY Works

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   Reviews
 
 

  

   About the Author,
   Wayne Chase

  
  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   Reviews
 
 

  

   About the Author,
   Wayne Chase

  
  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   Reviews
 
 

  

   About the Author,
   Wayne Chase

  
  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


  

  
CHAPTER 6:
How Chords and Chord Progressions
REALLY Work
  
6.15 When Chord Progressions Go Bad...

 
PAGE INDEX
  

6.15.1 How to Use Chase Charts to Visually Spot Weak Chord Progressions

6.15.2 Examples of Chord Progressions that Don’t Quite Make It

 

~ • ~ • ~ • ~


6.15.1

HOW TO USE CHASE CHARTS TO VISUALLY SPOT WEAK CHORD PROGRESSIONS


Now, for your entertainment and pleasure, here are a few examples of the kinds of chord progressions inexperienced songwriters string together, mainly because they don’t know about the harmonic scale.


     Having studied the above examples by songwriting masters, you will probably figure out pretty quickly why these progressions go off the rails (Figures 118 - 121). Using Chase Charts, you can spot the weakness by looking at the patterns of arrows that correspond to consecutive fifths up, multiple third progressions, sequences of chromatic progressions, non-involvement of dominant and tonic chords, and so on.


     This is not to say that such progressions could never work under any circumstances. A songwriter might figure out a way to make them sound palatable in the context of a cleverly-worked-out tune. But why bother with a lot of pointless effort, trying to fix a lame progression? They shoot lame chord progressions, don’t they?


     Technically, there's no such thing as a “wrong” chord progression in the sense of “prohibited.” But there certainly are chord progressions that are easier for the brain to make sense of. That's what this chapter has been all about.



6.15.2

EXAMPLES OF CHORD PROGRESSIONS THAT DON’T QUITE MAKE IT

What’s problematic about this one (Figure 118)?

 

        Two consecutive fifth-up progressions (E – B – F) without involving either tonic chord

 

        Lots of weak third progressions

 

        No V7 – I progression to establish tonality




FIGURE 118  Chase Chart of a Weak Chord Progression: Example 1








And this one (Figure 119)?

 

        Two consecutive chromatic chords without establishing tonality ... Key? what key?

 

        No dominant chord involvement on either the major or the minor side to establish tonality




FIGURE 119  Chase Chart of a Weak Chord Progression: Example 2







How does this one get lost (Figure 120)?

 

        An eight-chord progression that uses all seven harmonic degrees ... pretty ambitious ... too ambitious

 

        Lots of fifths-up progressions, including tonic-to-dominant progressions on both major and minor sides—but no dominant-to-tonic

 

        Tonality must be out there somewhere, but not in this progression




FIGURE 120  Chase Chart of a Weak Chord Progression: Example 3






One final example from chord progression hell (Figure 121):

 

        Early chromatic chords set the progression adrift in a puddle of harmonic mush, horsefeathers, and month-old gravy

 

        No fifths-up this time, but no fifths-down, either

 

        No dominant chords, no tonality





FIGURE 121  Chase Chart of a Weak Chord Progression: Example 4






~ • ~ • ~ • ~

 

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You are reading the FREE SAMPLE Chapters 1 through 6 of the acclaimed 12-Chapter book, How Music REALLY Works!, 2nd Edition. Here's what's in Chapters 7 through 12. 

 

To order the book, click here:

        
 

 

 

 TABLE OF
 CONTENTS

  

 PART I

 The Big Picture    Introduction

   1. W-5 of Music
  
2. Pop Music
   
    Industry

  
 PART II
 Essential
 Building Blocks
 of Music
   3.
Tones/Overtones
   4. Scales/Intervals
   5. Keys/Modes
 
 PART III
 How to Create
 Emotionally
 Powerful Music
 and Lyrics
   6.
Chords/
  
      Progressions

   7. Pulse/Meter/
  
      Tempo/Rhythm

   8. Phrase/Form
   9. Melody
 10. Lyrics
 11. Repertoire/
     
  Performance

  

 PART IV
 Making a
 Living In Music
 12.
Business of
   
     Music

 
 Appendixes

   

 Notes

   

 References

  

 Index
  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   Top

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

    

 TABLE OF
 CONTENTS

  

 PART I

 The Big Picture    Introduction

   1. W-5 of Music
  
2. Pop Music
   
    Industry

  
 PART II
 Essential
 Building Blocks
 of Music
   3.
Tones/Overtones
   4. Scales/Intervals
   5. Keys/Modes
 
 PART III
 How to Create
 Emotionally
 Powerful Music
 and Lyrics
   6.
Chords/
  
      Progressions

   7. Pulse/Meter/
  
      Tempo/Rhythm

   8. Phrase/Form
   9. Melody
 10. Lyrics
 11. Repertoire/
     
  Performance

  

 PART IV
 Making a
 Living In Music
 12.
Business of
   
     Music

 
 Appendixes

   

 Notes

   

 References

  

 Index
  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   Top

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

    

 TABLE OF
 CONTENTS

  

 PART I

 The Big Picture    Introduction

   1. W-5 of Music
  
2. Pop Music
   
    Industry

  
 PART II
 Essential
 Building Blocks
 of Music
   3.
Tones/Overtones
   4. Scales/Intervals
   5. Keys/Modes
 
 PART III
 How to Create
 Emotionally
 Powerful Music
 and Lyrics
   6.
Chords/
  
      Progressions

   7. Pulse/Meter/
  
      Tempo/Rhythm

   8. Phrase/Form
   9. Melody
 10. Lyrics
 11. Repertoire/
     
  Performance

  

 PART IV
 Making a
 Living In Music
 12.
Business of
   
     Music

 
 Appendixes

   

 Notes

   

 References

  

 Index
  

 

   Top

 

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